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 ShanahanThis week: Mueller dominates chaotic week on Capitol Hill Overnight Defense: US shoots down Iranian drone | Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia | Trump mulls Turkey sanctions | Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract Pentagon sending 500 more troops to Saudi Arabia: reports 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 TrumpChelsea Clinton announces birth of third child Ukrainian officials and Giuliani are sharing back-channel campaign information: report Trump attacks 'the Squad' as 'racist group of troublemakers' 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 UnTrump and Pakistan's Khan are a lot alike — but can they master the art of any deals? Majority of voters aren't confident Trump's diplomacy will lead to North Korea denuclearization The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP 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 Robert BoltonFive things to know about Turkey's rift with Trump Trump confirms he authorized Rand Paul to negotiate with Iran Trump: 'No doubt' US shot down Iranian drone 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.