All national dailies focused on a tweet that President Trump posted on Sunday regarding North Korea’s launches of short-range missiles, quoting him as writing that the launches did not bother him and that he still has confidence in the promise that Chairman Kim made. The dailies emphasized that the President’s language was unusually mild and marked a clear departure from the remarks of National Security Advisor Bolton, who earlier said in Tokyo that the latest launches were “no doubt” a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The local press highlighted a Washington Post story calling President Trump’s tweet a “direct rebuke” of his top security advisor.
Sankei wrote that the President’s tweet points to his administration’s soft approach to the DPRK, expressing concern that it exposed a gap in perception with Japan, which has taken issue with the missile launches. Asahi opined that President Trump appears to be adamant about not taking a hardline toward Pyongyang, projecting that as Prime Minister Abe is now also willing to meet with Kim Jong Un without preconditions, the two leaders perhaps will tone down criticism of North Korea when they discuss the issue during today’s summit at the Akasaka Palace.