Acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanSenators introducing bill to penalize Pentagon for failed audits Overnight Defense: National Guard boosts DC presence ahead of inauguration | Lawmakers demand probes into troops' role in Capitol riot | Financial disclosures released for Biden Pentagon nominee Biden Pentagon pick could make up to .7M from leaving Raytheon MORE said he sees recent North Korean missile tests as a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution (UNSCR), breaking with President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe 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 UnSatellite photos indicate North Korea expanding uranium enrichment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? North Korea says recent missiles were test of 'railway-borne' system 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."
North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me. I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me, & also smiled when he called Swampman Joe BidenJoe BidenTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe House passes sweeping defense policy bill MORE a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
“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.
Trump’s comments on the missile tests contradicted comments from both his national security adviser, John BoltonJohn BoltonOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Ex-Trump adviser Bolton defends Milley: 'His patriotism is unquestioned' 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.