Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is hosting Trump during his state visit in Tokyo. It began with golf and a sumo tournament and continued today with a formal visit to Japan’s new Emperor and empress. This show of unity was meant to solidify the US-Japan alliance.
Trump has so far refused to back away from his glowing assessment of North Korea today, saying he wasn’t “personally bothered” by their recent short-range missile tests, despite the contradictory views of his Japanese hosts and his own national security adviser.
But Trump’s answer to a question about the missile tests revealed that he did not believe the short-range launches violated UN resolutions, a view held by Japan.
“My people think it could have been a violation, as you know. I view it differently. I view it as a man, perhaps he wants to get attention, and perhaps not. Who knows? It doesn’t matter.”
Trump has apparently grown increasingly agitated with his hawkish National Security Adviser, John Bolton, in recent weeks, as he’s being led down a path toward war with Iran and Venezuela.
But Trump hasn’t backed away from comment, made on Twitter, that North Korea was correct in questioning former vice president Joe Biden‘s intelligence.
“Kim Jong Un made a statement that Joe Biden is a low IQ individual. He probably is, based on his record. I think I agree with him on that,”
Tone-deaf POTUS: His answers on North Korea came just minutes after hearing from family members of Japanese citizens who were abducted by North Korea decades ago. Abe has promised to press their case with Kim during his own summit meeting. Trump has vowed to help arrange that encounter during their talks.
The Trump-Abe relationship is perfectly summed up in this gif, if you ask me.
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?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2019
(Photo, screen grab; via CNN)