When North Korea fired projectiles from its eastern coast on May 4, analysts were quick to say that it was done as an effort to force President Donald Trump's hand in easing sanctions on the country. Either the president doesn't agree with that or perhaps he's just not worried about it, because he weighed in on the matter without mentioning the launch. Donald Trump's tweet after North Korea's May 4 missile launch even expressed some confidence in Kim Jong-un.
According to CNN, the projectiles flew about 125 miles before crashing into the sea, which might not sound like a lot. But The New York Times reports that the launch is the most "serious" one since 2017, and it comes as the United States and North Korea remain in a stalemate following a failed summit earlier this year over easing U.S. sanctions. Analysts told the outlet that the move suggests Kim may be reconsidering enforcing his country's moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, which was imposed in the spring of 2018, and that that could escalate tensions between North Korea and the U.S. According to the BBC, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Friday night, "We are aware of North Korea's actions tonight. We will continue to monitor as necessary."
Trump's response? He doesn't seem worried about Kim backing away from a potential deal. In a tweet shared later in the morning of May 4, he wrote:
Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim [Jong-un] fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!
While it does seem odd that Trump's tweet makes no mention of the short-range missile launch while expressing his belief that Kim will make a deal to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons, it appears North Korea's May 4 launch didn't technically break its 2017 pledge not to further test nuclear devices and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), per The New York Times.
Seems like Trump is really confident in the relationship that he and Kim have been building for the past year or so, even if things may be looking a little rocky at the moment.
Back on Feb. 27, the two leaders came together for a summit in Vietnam to discuss a nuclear agreement. Trump has long been trying to get Kim to denuclearize his country, but the North Korean leader has asked for more sanctions relief than Trump is willing to give in exchange. So, they ultimately failed to make a deal, with Trump saying in a press conference after the meeting, "Sometimes you have to walk. This was just one of those times." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for additional comment at the time, but did not hear back.
Who knows what will happen going forward, but Trump shared his goal in 2018 in the form of a movie trailer that basically shows him and Kim as besties. He unveiled the trailer during a historic summit with Kim in June 2018, when the two leaders met face-to-face to discuss putting an end to North Korea's nuclear program. It talks about how the two men could make a lasting impact on the world by making decisions and taking chances, before closing with this:
Two leaders, one destiny: A story about a special moment in time, when a man is presented with one chance that may never be repeated. What will he choose? To show vision and leadership? Or not.
With the latest launch looking like a way to force a U.S. response, I'd stay tuned for how this story pans out.