Trump voices confidence in Kim after North Korea’s latest launch: ‘I am with him’

President Trump on Saturday voiced confidence in North Korea’s Kim Jong Un after the country fired what officials said were multiple projectiles toward Japan.

“Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it,” Trump tweeted.

“He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” he added.

North Korea fired multiple short-range projectiles off its east coast on Saturday morning, the latest launch following Trump and Kim’s February summit in Vietnam, which failed to produce a nuclear deal.{mosads}

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the projectiles traveled up to 125 miles before falling into the sea between North Korea and Japan.

Saturday’s launch comes weeks after North Korea announced it had conducted a test launch of a “new-type tactical guided weapon” that was personally overseen by Kim.

The North Korean leader declared a moratorium on missile and nuclear testing last year, but satellite imagery reported in recent months has shown continuing nuclear activity at the country’s plants.

Trump has repeatedly touted Kim by name on Twitter, saying he is optimistic that the two leaders can reach a deal on dismantling North Korea’s nuclear program.

However, their two summits — in Singapore in 2018 and in Vietnam earlier this year — have yet to produce any concrete deal beyond a vow that Washington and Pyongyang would work toward denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump administration officials have said that while they are optimistic a nuclear deal can be reached in the future, no sanctions against North Korea will be relieved until such an agreement is made. They have also suggested that a third summit between Trump and Kim could take place at some point.

“Clearly, Pyongyang is frustrated with the conclusion of the recent summit with Washington in Vietnam that did not produce any breakthrough,” Harry J. Kazianis, the director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest, said in a statement Friday night.

“It also seems clear that North Korea is angry over what appears to be a lack of flexibility in the Trump Administration’s position on relieving sanctions, sticking to a policy of ‘maximum pressure,'” he added. 

Tags Donald Trump Kim Jong Un North Korea North Korea North Korea nuclear missile program

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