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N Korea at crossroads

North Korean missile tests may defy UN, but not Trump's agreement with Kim

US President says Pyongyang has 'far too much to lose'

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea. Trump said Kim's missile tests did not break their agreement.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that North Korea's missile tests may have violated United Nations resolutions but did not break his agreement North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump, in a series of Twitter posts, said he did not believe Kim wanted to disappoint him "with a violation of trust," adding that "there is far too much for North Korea to gain ... Also, there is far too much to lose."

North Korea fired missiles for the third time in eight days, a series of launches that analysts say have appeared designed both to improve military capabilities and pressure the United States and South Korea as they seek to restart denuclearization talks with Pyongyang.

North Korea has been testing missiles despite a June 30 meeting between Trump and Kim at which the two agreed to revive stalled talks, which have yet to resume.

Trump has played down North Korea missile launches since his failed summit with Kim in Vietnam in February, saying they were of short-range devices, not the intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs Kim has promised not to test.

"Kim Jong Un and North Korea tested 3 short range missiles over the last number of days," Trump tweeted. "These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short range missiles when we shook hands.

"There may be a United Nations violation, but Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain - the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited. Also, there is far too much to lose," he said.

Trump continued to laud the personal rapport he says he has with Kim, whose government has been criticized by the U.S. State Department for subjecting its people to "egregious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms." The department said in May that about 100,000 people were held in political prison camps.

"I may be wrong, but I believe that Chariman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true. He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!"

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