Trump: North Korea Hasn’t Launched One Rocket for 8 Months

By Melanie Arter | July 6, 2018 | 10:25 AM EDT

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Screenshot)

( - President Donald Trump said “we’ll see” whether North Korea is trying to hide its nuclear program, but he pointed out that in the last eight months, there hasn’t been one rocket or missile launch or nuclear test.

“When I took office, you can quote me on this, North Korea was doing tremendous testing, tremendous missile launches, and you can ask President Obama. He was very close to going to war. and he would have lost 50 million people, plus,” Trump told reporters during a gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Great Falls, Mont.

“The rhetoric was very strong. In the meantime for eight months you’ve had not one rocket launch, missile launch and you haven’t had one nuclear test,” he added.

When asked whether he trusts North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump said, “I had a very good feeling about him from the standpoint – I shook his hand. I thought we got along very well. I thought we had a good chemistry together. I think we understand each other. I really believe that he sees a different future for North Korea. I hope that’s true. If that’s not true we’ll go back to the other way.”

“Under the Obama administration they were launching missiles, they were testing. They’re not doing that anymore. That could start tomorrow. Who knows, and if it does, I won’t be happy, but for eight months there’s been not one rocket or missile launch or there hasn’t been a nuclear test, and other things have happened including last week, taking down the anti-US propaganda,” Trump continued.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in North Korea for a two-day visit to meet with the North Korean leader about denuclearization. Pompeo reportedly brought with him a letter from Trump and Elton John’s CD which includes the song “Rocket Man” - the name Trump dubbed Kim Jong Un.

According to the South Korean newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo, “the gifts reflect Trump’s expectations that Kim will follow through on the pledges in an agreement the two signed at their summit.”


One diplomatic source in Washington said, "The 'Rocket Man' CD was the subject of discussion during Trump's lunch with Kim. Kim mentioned that Trump referred to him as 'rocket man' when tensions ran high last year" after a series of nuclear tests and missile launches by the North. "Trump then asked Kim if he knew the song and Kim said no."


Trump remembered the conversation and told Pompeo to take a CD with the song for Kim. He reportedly wrote a message on it and signed it.


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