President Donald Trump offered support for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, despite a fresh report that the Hermit Kingdom launched a short-range projectile into the sea — an act that, if true, could further erode a detente between Washington and Pyongyang as they pursue a nuclear pact.
In a Saturday message, Trump tweeted that “I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it.” The president also appeared to acknowledge that “anything is possible,” referencing reports of the weapon launch.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 4, 2019
On Saturday morning local time, South Korea’s military reported that a type of short-range projectile had been fired off the country’s east coast.
The miliary said multiple projectiles were fired between 9:06 a.m. and 9:27 a.m. local time, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, which said it believed the weapons had flown 70 to 200 kilometers.
The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump was briefed on the launch Friday night by his national security adviser John Bolton.
Nuclear talks between North Korea and the U.S. have stalled since a February summit ended abruptly.
North Korea hasn’t test-fired a ballistic missile since November 2017.