President Trump said Monday that he is not "personally bothered" by recent short-range missile tests that North Korea conducted this month, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting the president on four-day state visit full of pageantry. Standing beside Trump at a news conference after hours of talks, Abe disagreed with the president, saying the missile tests violated UN Security Council resolutions and were "of great regret," the AP reports. Abe, who has forged a strong friendship with Trump and agrees with him on many issues, is concerned because the short-range missiles pose a threat to Japan's security. Trump was invited to Japan to be the first world leader to meet with its new emperor. The meeting with Naruhito and his wife, Empress Masako, was preceded by a grand outdoor welcome ceremony at Japan's Imperial Palace.
Trump praised Kim, calling him a "smart man" who might have launched the missiles earlier this month to "get attention." "All I know is there have been no nuclear tests, no ballistic missiles going out, no long-range missiles going out and I think that someday we'll have a deal," Trump said, adding that he is in "no rush." Abe reiterated his previous statement that the tests were carried out in defiance of the UN. Earlier Monday, Trump said he backed Abe's interest in leveraging his country's good relations with Iran to help broker a possible dialogue between the US and its nemesis in the Middle East. Abe said he is willing to do whatever he can to help to reduce escalating tensions between the US and Iran. (Trump's visit also included presenting a trophy to a sumo wrestling champion.)