Shanahan breaks with Trump on North Korea missile tests

Shanahan breaks with Trump on North Korea missile tests
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Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE said he sees recent North Korean missile tests as a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR), breaking with President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE.

Asked a direct question about whether the short-range missiles violated the resolution, Shanahan said that they did.

"I — let me just be clear, the short — these were short range missiles and those are a violation of the UNSCR.  Yes," Shanahan said, according to a transcript of the exchange.  

The remarks marked a break with Trump, who has repeated in recent days that he was not bothered by the tests of short-range missiles earlier this month and that he is still hopeful for diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnAs Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Harris accuses Trump of being 'punked' by North Korea Kamala Harris: 'Donald Trump got punked' by North Korea MORE.

"North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," Trump tweeted Saturday. "I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me."

“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 added Monday in Japan, saying he was not “personally” bothered by the tests.

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Trump’s comments on the missile tests contradicted comments from both his national security adviser, John BoltonJohn BoltonFive bombshells from explosive Sondland testimony Chris Wallace: Sondland testimony 'took out the bus and ran over' Trump, top aides Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption MORE, and the leader of Japan, a key U.S. ally.

“U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibit North Korea from firing any ballistic missiles,” Bolton told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday. “In terms of violating U.N. Security Council resolutions, there is no doubt about that.”

Trump is eager to reach a denuclearization deal with North Korea, a deal that has evaded past administrations.