One day after President Donald Trump‘s national security adviser, John Bolton, said North Korea‘s missile launches earlier this month violated a U.N. Security Council resolution, the president said Kim Jong Un’s launch of “small weapons” doesn’t bother him.
The president, who spent Sunday morning playing golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, went on to say he has confidence that Kim will “keep his promise” to not launch any missiles and thinks Kim’s recent insult against presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden — calling him a “low-IQ individual,” the same language Trump himself has used — is a “signal” to him. He also spelled Biden’s name incorrectly — as “Bidan” — in an initial tweet, before correcting it and resending.
Trump tweeted, “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 Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
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 Biden a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?
A Biden campaign aide responded after the tweet, saying, ““I would say the tweet speaks for itself, but it’s so unhinged and erratic that I’m not sure anyone could even say that with a straight face.”
The same aide said of the president’s tweet correcting the spelling of Biden’s name: “The spelling error was not the main problem with the first one.”
While Trump has tried to spin North Korea’s recent launch, both Bolton and Japan have accused North Korea of violating U.N. resolutions. Bolton’s comments were the first time a U.S. official said North Korea was in violation.
The Trump administration is trying to keep diplomatic doors open to North Korea, even though Bolton admitted the U.S. has not “heard much” from North Korea since the last summit in Hanoi fell apart. He said U.S. Special Envoy to North Korea Stephen Biegun has not received contact from his counterpart in Pyongyang.
Bolton also said he supports Japan’s efforts to sit down for negotiations with Kim. Abe still has not met with the North Korean leader.
Japanese officials said that during Trump’s four-day state visit, Abe will be introducing Trump to the families of Japanese abducted by North Koreans. Trump had a similar meeting during his last visit to Japan. The release of Japanese abductees is a top priority for Abe.
Despite the defense of Kim, the two foreign leaders appeared to be getting along great on the golf course Sunday. Abe tweeted a photo of the two smiling from the course talking about an “unwavering” alliance between the two countries in Japanese.
After the pair hit the links, Trump stated on Twitter the two world leaders have made “great progress” in the trade negotiations, but indicated he may wait until after July to announce any potential deal.
Great progress being made in our Trade Negotiations with Japan. Agriculture and beef heavily in play. Much will wait until after their July elections where I anticipate big numbers!
Trump himself tweeted about the round of golf — a pastime both leaders have bonded over — and his love for former South African great and nine-time major champion Gary Player.
ABC News’ Rachel Scott contributed to this report.