Trump: North Korea’s 3 Short-Range Missile Tests Are Not a Violation of Singapore Agreement

August 2, 2019 Updated: August 2, 2019

President Donald Trump said North Korea’s three recent short-range missile tests are not a violation of the 2018 Singapore agreement that he signed with Kim Jong Un.

“Kim Jong Un and North Korea tested 3 short-range missiles over the last number of days. These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short-range missiles when we shook hands,” Trump announced on Twitter on Aug. 2.

Trump’s statement came after Pyongyang test-fired a new short-range ballistic missile on Friday. The country had earlier launched two new types of short-range ballistic missiles into the sea on July 25.

The President did say that the missile tests could be a violation of a U.N. resolution.

“There may be a United Nations violation, but Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain – the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited,” wrote Trump.

Trump regularly touts his personal diplomacy with Kim as moving in a positive direction, though there is skepticism in the international community that Kim will give up his prized nuclear weapons program.

“Also, there is far too much to lose,” Trump continued. “I may be wrong, but I believe that Chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true. He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!”

Trump had repeated the same thoughts earlier in a press conference at the White House after the July 25 launch and before he left for his rally at Ohio. “Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We will see what happens. It’s a short-range missile. They’re very standard,” he said.

Trump has said the United States would have been war with North Korea if he hadn’t made a breakthrough with Kim.

The North’s new missile launches came as the United Kingdom, France, and Germany—following a closed U.N. Security Council briefing—condemned the North’s recent ballistic activity as violations of U.N. sanctions and urged Pyongyang to engage in “meaningful negotiations” with the United States on eliminating its nuclear weapons.

Trump’s chief U.S. envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, had hoped to meet Friday in Thailand with a representative of North Korea. But North Korea stayed away from the annual gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has served as a venue for their talks in the past.

People watch a TV showing a file image of North Korea’s missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea on July 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

Pressure Tactics

Analyzing the July 25 launch, a senior defense researcher at a public policy community told The Epoch Times that the missile launch is Pyongyang’s attempt to pressure the White House.

“North Korea is trying to pressurize the United States with these missile launches. North Korean culture makes it want to compel action by outside states, using a coercive strategy, in which case the regime will look strong internally,” Bruce W. Bennett, a senior Defense Researcher with Rand, a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges told The Epoch Times via email.

Bennett said that Pyongyang is trying to pressure the United States and South Korea to cancel their pending defensive military exercise.

A week before the launch North Korea had said it may lift its 20-month suspension of nuclear and long-range missile tests in response to the drills.

Trump and Kim had last met in the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea on June 30.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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