- The Washington Times - Friday, April 19, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday insisted that he will still lead denuclearization talks between the U.S. and North Korea, despite a call by the government of Kim Jong-un to replace him for being an untrustworthy negotiator.

“Nothing’s changed,” Mr. Pompeo said during a press conference with acting Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan and their Japanese counterparts.

In a statement Thursday, North Korea accused Mr. Pompeo of “talking nonsense” and demanded removal from negotiations and requested someone “more careful and mature in communicating with us.” The same day, the regime announced it had test-fired a new “tactical guided weapon” for the first time in nearly a year and a half.

The department said they were aware of the reports of the test, and “remains ready to engage North Korea in a constructive negotiation.”

Mr. Pompeo was at President Trump’s side when the February summit with Mr. Kim in Vietnam broke up abruptly with the two sides failing to make progress toward a deal to end the North’s nuclear and missile programs.

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