Hours after North Korea purportedly launched its fifth round of short-range missile testing in the last few weeks, President Donald Trump let the world know in a series of Saturday morning tweets that at least the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un wrote him a letter apologising for it.
Per the BBC, last night South Korean officials reported that North Korea fired what appeared to be two short-range ballistic missiles from the city of Hamhung. Authorities say the missiles travelled about 250 miles (402 kilometres) before landing in the Sea of Japan. Such tests, including a similar one earlier this week, could potentially violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.
In his tweets Saturday, Trump said North Korea’s recent flurry of missile testing has been in response to U.S.-South Korean joint military exercises that began this week, according to a letter Kim purportedly sent him.
“It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was... also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end,” Trump tweeted.
....also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future! A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019
Apparently believing the dictator’s explanation, the president went on to say that Kim expressed interest in restarting negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program once these joint exercises are completed. All talk of denuclearisation stalled in February after the U.S. refused the country’s request to have sanctions lifted. Despite this lack of progress, Trump seemed hopeful about the prospect in his Twitter posts.
“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!” Trump wrote. “A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!”
News of this most recent round of missile testing came shortly after Trump told reporters he received a separate “really beautiful” and “very positive letter” from the North Korean despot.
With the 2020 presidential elections on the horizon, Trump has repeatedly downplayed the significance of North Korea’s frequent missile launches, claiming these tests use “smaller ones” and not ballistic missiles despite his officials reporting otherwise, the New York Times reported. Firing those would violate a United Nations ban placed on the country.
Featured photo: Susan Walsh (AP)