President Donald Trump on Sunday took time out on his state visit to Japan to re-affirm his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and rail against a U.S. judge for partially blocking his border-wall funding plan.
“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,” Trump wrote in a tweet posted before 6 a.m. local time.
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Trump’s tweets came hours before he met with close ally Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his four-day trip to Japan to discuss North Korean engagement, ongoing trade negotiations and to meet with Japan’s newest emperor Naruhito.
North Korea launched several suspected short-range missiles earlier this month, which Trump has dismissed as “very standard” following a series of personal negotiations with the authoritarian leader.
Japan relies heavily on American forces to defend itself, and has repeatedly raised concerns over North Korea’s missile tests, saying they are a violation of U.N. resolutions. Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, this week echoed that position.
On Saturday, Trump arrived aboard Air Force One at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo before meeting with Japanese business executives, where he talked about the strong relationship between the two countries and the future of trade relations.
“Japan has had a substantial advantage for many, many years, but that’s OK, maybe that’s why you like us so much,” Trump said, adding that in the future it will be “a little bit more fair, I think.”
Trade negotiations between the two countries have been a major factor in the U.S.-Japan relationship after Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership early in his presidency. Last week, Trump delayed auto tariffs for six months while the administration pursues trade deals with Europe and Japan.
Later Sunday, Trump met with Abe in Chiba, where they played golf and will attend a sumo wrestling championship, before going to dinner with the prime minister and his wife, Akie.
On Monday, Trump will meet with Emperor Naruhito, the first foreign leader to do so since he assumed the throne.
Earlier Sunday, at 4:35 a.m. local time, Trump lambasted a Friday ruling by Calif.-based U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam halting a $1 billion transfer from Pentagon counterdrug moneys aimed at funding parts of border-wall construction and maintenance in Texas and Arizona.
“Another activist Obama appointed judge has just ruled against us on a section of the Southern Wall that is already under construction. This is a ruling against Border Security and in favor of crime, drugs and human trafficking. We are asking for an expedited appeal!” Trump wrote.
About a half hour later in a barrage of tweets and re-tweets, Trump thanked actor Jon Voight, re-tweeted Fox News host Jesse Watters and railed against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for committing what Trump claims is a hate crime.
Smollett was accused of staging an attack in Chicago where two men wearing MAGA hats yelled homophobic and racist remarks, but his case was dismissed by the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
In his later North Korea tweet, Trump also said he “smiled when [Kim] called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?”
North Korea has labeled Biden, the former vice president and Democratic candidate for president in 2020, a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being” after he called Kim a tyrant during a recent speech, according to the Associated Press. Trump fixed the spelling of Biden’s name in a later tweet.
Trump has held two summits with Kim in Singapore and Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump tweeted in April that a third summit “would be good” while writing glowingly of their relationship. North Korea this week said it would not be open to further talks until the U.S. changes its position on nuclear disarmament.