Trump splits with Japanese host, saying he’s not ‘personally’ bothered by North Korea missile tests

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President Trump said at a news conference in Japan on Monday that he is not bothered by North Korean missile testing, splitting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

When asked whether he was “bothered” by North Korea’s tests, Trump responded,  “No, I’m not. I am personally not.”

“All I know is that there have been no nuclear tests. There have been no ballistic missiles going out. There have been no long-range missiles going out. And I think that someday we’ll have a deal,” Trump said, according to a White House transcript of the president’s remarks. He also said he was in “no rush.”{mosads}

Trump called the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, a “very smart man” and suggested the missile tests were meant to “get attention.”

“Who knows?” he added. “It doesn’t matter.”

Abe, meanwhile, did not take the same stance as Trump, telling reporters that the tests were “of great regret.” 

“This is violating the [United Nations] Security Council resolution,” the Japanese prime minister said. “It is of great regret. But at the same time, between Kim Jong Un and President Trump a certain new approach was taken and that is something that I pay tribute to.”

Abe also said that Japan feels threatened by the testing due to its close proximity to North Korea. 

Trump is in Japan for a four-day state visit. While there, he tweeted about the North Korean missile testing that took place earlier this month, saying that he has “confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me.”

Abe has previously called for better enforcement for U.N. resolutions regarding North Korean missile testing, according to Bloomberg News

Pyongyang earlier this month fired short-range missiles from its east coast, according to the South Korean military. 

–Updated at 7:43 a.m.


Tags Donald Trump Japan Kim Jong Un North Korea North Korean missile test US-North Korea relations

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