North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently oversaw the testing of ballistic missiles that both American and foreign officials condemned, but Trump has decided to let the North off the hook again.
Trump regime officials including National Security Advice John Bolton, Japanese President Shinzo Abe, and South Korea President Moon Jae-in among others have all said that the testing of short-range ballistic missiles violated a resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council, but Trump says he's "very happy" with the current situation.
But the president on Monday, at the end of his short trip to Japan to meet the new emperor, insisted that he was not “personally” bothered by the tests and was “very happy with the way it’s going” in his efforts to engage North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Notably, Trump said he did not think the tests violated the U.N. resolution.
“My people think it could have been a violation,” Trump said. “I view it differently.” [...]
Kim, Trump said, “is looking to create a nation that has great strength economically. … He knows that, with nuclear, that’s never going to happen. Only bad can happen. He understands that. He is a very smart man. He gets it well.”
Trump 'views it differently' because he has to; because he's making a political calculation.
To agree or admit that North Korea is violating UN resolutions would mean agreeing that his approach to dealing with Kim Jong-un is not working. And at some point, agreeing would mean acknowledging that he's been played.
South Korea and American forces are no longer holding joint military exercises under orders from Trump because he believes Kim Jong-un is more willing to talk if they no longer take place, but he is not holding North Korea to a similar standard and he never well.
During a joint press conference with Japanese President Shinzo Abe, Trump vaguely implied that he will downplay almost anything short of a nuclear or long-range weapons test.
“All I know is there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out, and I think that someday we’ll have a deal,” Trump said, adding that he is in “no rush.” [...]
“This is violating the Security Council resolution,” Abe said, adding that, as North Korea’s neighbor, Japan feels threatened. “It is of great regret.”
I have to wonder if Trump wants to string this along until he's out office as much as Kim Jong-un does.