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

In possible future negotiations between North Korea and the US, the North Korean delegation would like to deal with someone “who is more careful and mature in communicating with us” than US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, senior foreign affairs official Kwon Jong Gun said on Thursday, adding that he feared that “if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled.” In the past week, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un both indicated that a new US-North Korea summit was a possibility. A February summit broke down.

Kwon’s comments followed a North Korean announcement that it had tested a new tactical weapon with “a powerful warhead”. A South Korean military expert said the weapon was probably a short-range cruise missile. Earlier this week, a US think tank warned that satellite images from last week indicate renewed activity at Yongbyon, a site at the heart of North Korea’s nuclear program.

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