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  • North Korea does not want Mike Pompeo to be present during nuclear talks.

    North Korea does not want Mike Pompeo to be present during nuclear talks. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 April 2019

North Korea wishes that instead of Mike Pompeo they will have talks with someone "who is more careful and mature in communicating with us."

North Korea said Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding nuclear talks saying he should be replaced with someone "more careful and mature.” The announcement came hours after the North Korean government said it had conducted its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down in late February.

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The foreign ministry described Pompeo as “reckless” and talks would likely go wrong "whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in.”

The statement came shortly after North Korea announced that leader Kim Jong Un had overseen the testing of a new tactical guided weapon, which the national KCNA news agency said has a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” and “a powerful warhead.” According to Al Jazeera the weapon was not thought to be a long-range missle that the U.S. has perceived as a military threat.

It was the North’s first weapon test since denuclearization talks between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in Vietnam broke down in late February.

A hoped-for April meeting between the two leaders never happened after Trump was accused of demanding North Korea to transfer its nuclear arsenal and weapons fuel to the U.S., a proposal supported by Pompeo and U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton.

"I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled," Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the ministry's Department of American Affairs said.

"Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of the dialogue with the US, I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but... (another) person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us."  

Pompeo was also criticized for his "gangster-like" attitude towards North Korea when the diplomat met North Korean officials in Pyongyang last July.

"We cannot be aware of Pompeo's ulterior motive behind his self-indulgence in reckless remarks; whether he is indeed unable to understand words properly or just pretending on purpose," Kwon said according to Reuters. The minister reiterat that the U.S. needs to change its attitude.

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