U.S. President Donald Trump may not mind North Korea's repeated tests of short-range missiles, including some believed capable of striking Japan, but his not-so-begrudging acceptance of the North's actions is sending an unmistakable message to Washington's Asian allies: America really does come first.

The latest volley of tests came Saturday, making for a total of at least 11 apparent ballistic missile launches overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year and eight in the last five weeks. The pace comes close to matching the frantic speed of testing in 2017, when Trump and Kim traded insults and threats.

"I'm not happy about it, but then again he's not in violation of an agreement," Trump said Sunday, after the latest launches. He was apparently referring to a deal between the two leaders that ostensibly prohibits the firing of longer-range ballistic missiles.