North Korea no longer wants US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as the interlocutor and wants to discuss now with a leader who is “more cautious and more mature in the way he communicates,” wrote Thursday the official North Korean news agency KCNA.
The agency, quoting a senior North Korean Foreign Minister, Kwon Jong-gun, added, without further details, that “no one can predict” what will happen to the situation on the Korean peninsula if Washington does not does not give up the “original cause” that led North Korea to adopt a nuclear program.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also supervised the testing of a new tactical weapon on Wednesday. This is the first weapon test made public by the North since the failure of the Hanoi summit.
The term “tactics” suggests, however, that it is a short-range weapon, not long-range ballistic or nuclear missiles capable of striking US territory, as is the fear of the United States.
In Washington, the US federal government has worked to minimize these two developments.
Patrick Shanahan, interim defense secretary, said that the North Koreans had done a test, but he added to the press, “it was not a ballistic missile.”
As for Pyongyang’s refusal to discuss with Pompeo, a spokeswoman for the State Department took note and added: “The United States remains ready to involve North Korea in a constructive negotiation.”
Kim Jong-un held two summits with US President Donald Trump.
The first took place in Singapore last June and the second, late February in Hanoi, failed. The United States is trying to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons, and the North Koreans want the lifting of international sanctions against their country because of their atomic and ballistic military programs.
According to Kwon Jong-gun, who is in charge of relations with the United States at the North Korean Foreign Ministry, the Hanoi summit showed that discussions could go wrong “whenever Pompeo puts his nose”.
“I’m afraid if Pompeo gets involved again in discussions, they do not get bogged down,” he said.
“Therefore, in case of a possible resumption of the dialogue with the United States, I hope that our interlocutor is not Pompeo but another person, more cautious and more mature in the way it communicates,” continued Kwon Jong -gun.
According to this one, Mike Pompeo has made “rash remarks, which tarnish the dignity of our supreme leadership”, a clear reference to the fact that Kim Jong-un was described as a “tyrant” at a hearing before the Congress, last week.