United States President Donald Trump with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (File photo)
United States President Donald Trump with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (File photo)

Trump reaffirms confidence in North's Kim, says 'won't break his promise'

ANI | Updated: May 04, 2019 22:29 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 4 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Saturday reaffirmed confidence in North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying that "he won't break his promise" after the communist country fired several unidentified short-range projectiles from its eastern coast earlier in the day.
"Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, and will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!" Trump took to Twitter as saying.
Saturday's weapons tests were the most serious by the North since the country launched its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles in November 2017, The New York Times reported.
The launch of the short-range missile comes at a time when denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea are yet to see progress following the abrupt fallout of the Hanoi summit.
"Today's provocation means that Kim Jong-un is becoming increasingly pessimistic" that he could work out a settlement with Trump, Lee Byong-chol, a North Korea expert at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul was quoted as saying.
"There may be some minor adjustments in the North's behaviour depending on how the US responds, but in the long term, it seems increasingly clear that Kim has decided to go his own way," he added.
American and South Korean authorities were analysing flight data from the tests to identify what types of weapons were launched, the office of President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has said.
South Korean officials said the "short-range" projectiles flew only 42 to 124 miles off the North's east coast, ruling out the possibility that the country had resumed tests of intermediate- or intercontinental-range ballistic missiles.
North Korea also tested weapons in November last year and again last month. But those weapons were largely considered tactical types with very small ranges.
By gradually increasing the ranges of weapons tests in recent weeks, Kim appeared to be carefully calibrating his options with Trump. Firing short-range weapons may be an attempt to force a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations with Washington while not provoking Trump too far, analysts told The New York Times.
The Hanoi meeting in February abruptly ended when Trump rejected Kim's suggestion that Washington should lift the most painful of sanctions imposed against North since 2016 in return for a partial dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program.
However, Trump wanted the quick rollback of the North's entire nuclear weapons programme.
After returning home without badly needed relief from sanctions, Kim said he would give Trump until the end of the year to offer a new proposal. (ANI)