North Korea calls for Pompeo to be dropped from talks; tests tactical weapon

North Korea calls for Pompeo to be dropped from talks; tests tactical weapon
  • Clock-gray 23:56
  • calendar-gray 18 April 2019

North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down, ONAreports quoting Reuters.

The North’s official KCNA news agency quoted senior foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun as warning that no one could predict the situation on the Korean peninsula if the United States did not abandon the “root cause” that compelled North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.

The statement came shortly after North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un had overseen the testing of a new tactical guided weapon, which KCNA said had a “peculiar mode of guiding flight” and “a powerful warhead.”

It was the North’s first weapon test since talks in Vietnam between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in late February broke down over conflicting demands by North Korea for sanctions relief and by the United States for North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

Still, acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon that it was “not a ballistic missile,” appearing to play down concerns.

At the same time, he noted: “There was a test.”

Faiq Mahmudov

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