During Obama’s two terms as President, North Korea conducted eight missile tests and attempted four satellite launches. During Trump’s first six months, they have conducted nine missile tests, and have shown no signs of slowing down.
Trump has tweeted many times about North Korea and China’s ability to control them. Trump implied that the reason that China hasn’t influenced North Korea is because China didn’t respect American leadership. President Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping April 6th, 2017, yet North Korea has conducted five missile tests since that time. Perhaps Trump didn’t impress the Chinese President?
North Korea is reliant on China. China could solve this problem easily if they wanted to but they have no respect for our leaders.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2013
North Korea can't survive, or even eat, without the help of China. China could solve this problem with one phone call-they love taunting us!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 5, 2013
Under President Trump, the North Koreans have conducted the following missile tests, one more than under all of Obama’s two terms:
Feb 11, 2017 – Successful solid fuel intermediate range missile traveled 310 miles
Mar 5 – Five missiles, four traveled more than 600 miles, one failed
Mar 21- Failed mobile launch test, exploded within seconds of launch
Apr 4 – Failed launch of KN-17 missile, 34 miles
Apr 15 – Failed launch of KN-17 missile, exploded shortly after launch
Apr 28 – Failed launch KN-17 missile, 21 miles
May 14 – Successful KN-17 launch, 435 miles, altitude of 1,245 miles
May 21 – Successful solid fuel KN-15 launch, 300 miles
May 28 – Successful short range missile test, six minute duration
After each test, North Korea increases its capability of striking the United States with a nuclear warhead. While it is believed that they don’t currently have the capability, they have shown that they are committed to continued development until they do. It is unknown how long it will take North Korea to mate a nuclear weapon with a missile capable of reaching US soil, but some have estimated they may have the technology within three years.
President Trump has not asked Congress for permission to engage North Korea militarily. He did state that he was sending an aircraft carrier towards North Korea after the April 15th missile test. At this time, Trump has not announced that he has any definitive plan in regards to dealing with the threat from North Korea.