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N.Korea's Kim Wants Pompeo Replaced As Chief US Negotiator, Will Meet With Putin

So much for those photos of Kim and Pompeo standing cheerfully side by side.

One day after North Korea's Leader Kim reportedly oversaw the test of a "new tactical guided weapon", North Korea on Thursday demanded that Secretary of State and former CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, should be replaced for any future negotiations with the U.S., the country's media reported.

"Whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in, talks between the two countries go wrong without any results even from the point close to success," Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoted Kwon Jong-gun as saying. Kwon is director general of the North Korean Foreign Ministry's department for American affairs. He was addressing the first session of the 14th Supreme People's Assembly of the country.

Two summits between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un since June 2018 have failed to reach an agreement over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. In response, Kwon suggested a "more careful and mature" negotiator to take Pompeo's place.

"I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled," he said.

"Therefore, even in the case of a possible resumption of the dialogue with the U.S., I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but [anyone] who is more careful and mature in communicating with us," he said.

Kwon said the North Korean leader and the U.S. president had good personal relations.

"It is fortunate that the personal relationship between our Chairman of the State Affairs Commission and President Trump is on good terms as usual and our Chairman is pleased to get on well with President Trump," he noted.

"U.S. Secretary of the State is letting loose reckless remarks and sophism of all kinds against us every day,” he added.

And just to confirm to the US that North Korea has "leverage", earlier on Thursday, the Kremlin confirmed last week's rumor that Kim will visit Russia this month for talks with Putin, as Kim is eager to make it clear that if the US refuses to ease relations then North Korea will promptly slide right into the rapidly growing China-Russia axis.

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