The Saturday morning editions of all national papers reported on North Korea’s firing of short-range projectiles into the Sea of Japan on early Friday morning, saying that this was the third launch in about a week and that President Trump again dismissed the significance of the provocation in a tweet. According to Yomiuri, Defense Minister Iwaya voiced concern by saying: “The DPRK has been trying to improve its missile technology. This is a serious issue not only for Japan but also for the international community.”
Asahi said the President’s “tolerance” may have emboldened the Kim regime to continue staging provocations, noting that some U.S. experts are critical of the U.S. leader for “downplaying” these missile tests because North Korea’s capabilities have improved steadily as a result of repeated testing. Nikkei speculated that the series of missile tests was intended to press the U.S. and South Korea to call off their joint exercise slated to start on Aug. 5, projecting that denuclearization talks between the U.S. and the DPRK will not resume until after the drill ends on Aug. 20.