According to a Reuters report, North Korea isn’t fond of U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In fact, Pyongyang reportedly stated that Pompeo, America’s most senior diplomat, should be cut from nuclear discussions altogether and replaced by someone “more careful and mature.”
Reuters reported that the message condemning the role Pompeo had played in past denuclearization talks did, in fact, come directly from North Korea’s state-controlled media, which is under the strict supervision of Chairman Kim Jong Un himself. Senior North Korean foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun also utilized this opportunity to include obscure assertions on the current relationship between North Korea and the US, in his statement through the country’s official KCNA news agency.
Kwon said that if the United States declines to renounce the “root cause” that ultimately led to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons in the first place, then “no one can predict” the outcome it will have on the Korean peninsula — Gun did not elaborate on the subject any further.
Newsweek was informed via email by a State Department spokesperson that US officials are aware of the report coming from North Korea regarding their displeasure with the current Secretary of State. The spokesperson added in their email, “The United States remains ready to engage North Korea in a constructive negotiation.”
The Associated Press reported that Pyongyang’s vexation stems from comments made by Pompeo on Monday during a speech at Texas A&M — where he told the crowd that during the very first summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US president Donald Trump in 2018, Kim had promised denuclearization.
Pompeo claimed that the US was working diligently with North Korea to “chart a path forward so we can get there” and “[Kim] said he wanted it done by the end of the year.” He then added, “I’d love to see that done sooner.”
Kwon’s American Affairs Department released a statement saying that Pompeo was “talking nonsense,” that he has “misinterpreted” North Korea’s position, and accused Pompeo of having a “talented skill of fabricating stories.”
This all comes in the midst of rising tensions between Washington and Pyongyang after it was confirmed that North Korea’s leadership has test-fired a new “tactical guided weapon.”
Kim stated in a speech last week that North Korea is still willing to conduct the third round of talks on the denuclearization issue, but only in the event that the US is willing to reconsider its stance on sanctions against Pyongyang.
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