WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not upset by North Korea’s launching of short-range ballistic missiles earlier this week.
North Korea said Thursday’s missile launch was a warning to South Korean “warmongers” to stop importing weapons and conducting joint military drills, a message that analysts said was also aimed at the United States.
“We’ll see what happens, but they are short-range missiles and many people have those missiles … very standard missiles,” Trump told reporters at the White House, reiterating that he has a very good relationship with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
Asked whether he was troubled by the launches, he replied: “No. Not at all.”
Trump said Kim had not called the launch a warning to the United States.
“He didn’t say a warning to the United States. They have their disputes, the two of them; they’ve had them for a long time,” he said of North and South Korea.
Ballistic missile tests by North Korea are banned by U.N. Security Council resolutions that Pyongyang rejects as infringing on its right to self-defence.
The launches were the first North Korean missile tests since Trump met Kim last month and agreed to revive denuclearisation talks stalled since a failed summit between the two of them in February.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in interviews on Thursday that fresh talks were still possible and that he anticipated they would take place in a couple of weeks. “You know, lots of countries posture before they come to the table,” he told Fox News in reference to the North Korean tests.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; writing by Mohammad Zargham; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft)