Friday, 17 January, 2020


North Korea: Keep Mike Pompeo Out of Future Talks

Ms Kim enjoyed a seat at the table at the first inter Korean summit Ms Kim enjoyed a seat at the table at the first inter Korean summit Credit AP
Bennie Garza | 20 April, 2019, 20:16

On Thursday, the North Korean foreign ministry official in charge of US affairs said North Korea no longer wanted to deal with Pompeo and he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature.

"The development and completion of this weapons system will be a great historic event in strengthening the combat capability of the People's Army", he reportedly said.

KCNA gave no details on the weapon that was tested on Wednesday but "tactical" implied a short-range weapon rather than the long-range ballistic missiles that have been seen as a threat to the United States.

"The weapon, mentioned by North Korean media today is now under review".

The Kremlin said in a statement on its website on Thursday that Putin will meet with Kim Jong-un in Russian Federation later in April.

North Korea is demanding that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo no longer take part in any further talks involving its nuclear weapons program.

The reported weapons test is likely not a banned activity. A string of increasingly powerful weapons tests in 2017 and Mr. Trump's response of "fire and fury" had many fearing war before the North shifted to diplomacy.

According to one US congressman it appears that Kim's strategy is having the desired effect.

Earlier in the week, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a U.S. monitor, said activity had been detected at Yongbyon, the North's main nuclear testing facility.

"Most probably, it won't yield anything as Russian Federation has no intentions to invest in North Korea significantly", Lankov said.

The think tank said evidence suggested Pyongyang may be reprocessing radioactive material into bomb fuel.

"The Trump administration has generally chosen to ignore Pyongyang's public signals, including escalating signals of displeasure with the negotiations", he said.

AFP quoted an unnamed South Korean military official as saying the southern side had not detected anything on radar, so it was unlikely to have been a missile.

"That said, there are already plenty of negative signs that negotiations aren't going well".

Kim's move to undertake a new weapons test is likely to be interpreted as a bid for attention after the USA hardened its stance in negotiations with North Korea.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (C) gestures as he meets with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

The North Korean statement said Pompeo was "misrepresenting the meaning of our requirement" for the negotiations to be finalized by the year's end, and referred to his "talented skill of fabricating stories".

"I am convinced we will have a real opportunity to achieve that outcome", Pompeo said at a joint news conference after talks with Japan's foreign and defence ministers.

"I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled", Department of American Affairs Director-General Kwon Jong-gun said according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"Hanoi summit gives us a lesson that whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in, the talks go wrong without any results even from the point close to success", Kwon said.

The Kremlin has written off North Korea's Soviet-era debts, but attempts at broader co-operation have stalled.

The analyst in Seoul, Kim Dong-yub, who is a former South Korean military official, said it wasn't yet clear whether the North conducted an advanced test of the same weapon Kim Jong Un observed in November or tested something different.

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