In an apparent contradiction of his national security adviser, US President Donald Trump downplayed recent North Korean missile tests, tweeting from Tokyo that they're not a concern for him — even though they are for Japan.

The remarks were the latest example of Trump's willingness to publicly undermine senior advisers, flout Democratic norms and side with totalitarian leaders, even on the world stage. He did so this time during a four-day state visit to Japan where he'll become the first leader to meet with the country's new emperor.

"North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," Trump tweeted.

"Some" of his "people" appear to include national security adviser John Bolton, who told reporters that a series of short-range missile tests by North Korea were a violation of UN Security Council resolutions. "There is no doubt about that," said Bolton. The May 4 and 9 tests ended a pause in launches that began in late 2017. Trump and other Administration officials insist they do not violate an agreement Trump reached with Kim Jong Un for a moratorium on launches.

Advertisement

Trump in his tweet said he had "confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me," and embraced Kim's recent attacks on former Vice-President Joe Biden, whose name he misspelled. Trump said he "smiled" when Kim "called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that's sending me a signal?"

- AP