North Korea has developed a brand new weapon according to dictator Kim Jong Un, who made the announcement this week through state-controlled media channel KCNA. But Kim didn’t stop there. Just hours after the news, the country dropped another bombshell, explaining that North Korea wants US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removed from nuclear negotiations.
The new weapon was allegedly test-fired on Wednesday under the personal direction of Kim and is being described in North Korean state-run media as “tactical guided”. But aside from that, the outside world hasn’t been given much information. Before the Trump regime took power in the US in January of 2017, it was normal for North Korea to publish photos and video of its latest weapon tests.
This is the second time that North Korea has played coy about new weapons in recent months. Back in November of 2018, North Korea announced that it had developed a new “ultramodern tactical weapon” under similar circumstances. North Korea declined to publish visual evidence that time as well.
In a not-so-coincidental turn of events, news of the weapon was followed by demands from North Korean officials that Pompeo be removed from the team that’s currently trying to negotiate some kind of nuclear weapons pact.
Pompeo, who was head of the CIA before becoming US secretary of state, agreed with lawmakers that Kim was a “tyrant” during a Senate subcommittee hearing last week, and North Korea clearly isn’t happy about that. Diplomats in North Korea called the remarks “reckless” and said that they wouldn’t tolerate the “public ridicule” of their leader.
“We cannot be aware of Pompeo’s ulterior motive behind his self-indulgence in reckless remarks; whether he is indeed unable to understand words properly or just pretending on purpose,” Kwon Jong Gun, a high-ranking North Korean official said, according to state news agency KCNA. “However, it is a very dangerous situation if he really did not grasp the meaning.”
Kwon continued that Pompeo was “fabricating stories like a fiction writer”.
North Korea has built a cult of personality around Kim, claiming outrageous things about its ruler that cannot be questioned by those in the country. For instance, North Koreans have been told that their supreme leaders don’t defecate and that they regularly hit holes-in-one while playing golf.
The US wants to see the full denuclearisation of North Korea, but the country has been pretty clear that it won’t get rid of its nuclear weapons unless other nuclear countries do the same.
President Donald Trump personally met with Kim for a second time in Hanoi this past February, but those talks broke down with absolutely no progress on convincing the North Koreans to abandon their nuclear program. Trump even said that he was “in love” with Kim, something that would be unheard of from any other US president.
“Hanoi summit gives us a lesson that whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in, the talks go wrong without any results even from the point close to success,” Kwon said. “I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled.”
“Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of the dialogue with the US, I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but other person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us.”