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North Korea foreign minister calls Pompeo ‘poisonous plant’

/ 01:01 PM August 23, 2019
North Korea foreign minister calls Pompeo 'poisonous plant’

FILE – In this July 6, 2018, file photo, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second from left, is greeted by North Korean Director of the United Front Department Kim Yong Chol, center, and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, second from right, as he arrives at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea. Ri called Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” who hampers efforts to restart nuclear negotiations. Ri issued crude insults against Pompeo on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019 to protest what he called Pompeo’s recently reported comments that Washington will maintain crippling sanctions on North Korea unless it denuclearizes. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool, File)

SEOUL — North Korea’s foreign minister on Friday called U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a “poisonous plant of American diplomacy” who hampers efforts to restart nuclear negotiations.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho made the insult to protest Pompeo’s comments in a media interview that Washington will maintain crippling sanctions on North Korea unless it denuclearizes.

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Ri said North Korea is ready to “shatter the absurd dream” by the United States that sanctions will force a change in North Korea. He said North Korea will try to remain “America’s biggest threat” if the United States continues to confront the North with sanctions.

Ri likely referred to comments by Pompeo during an interview with the Washington Examiner earlier this week. During the interview, Pompeo said that the U.S. will “continue to keep on the sanctions that are the toughest in all of history and continue to work towards convincing Chairman Kim (Jong Un) and the North Korean leaders that the right thing to do is for them to denuclearize.”

Earlier this week, the top U.S. envoy on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, said Washington is ready to resume nuclear diplomacy with North Korea. Biegun was speaking a day after the U.S. and South Korean militaries ended their regular drills that North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.

U.S.-led diplomacy on North Korea’s nuclear weapons collapsed after President Donald Trump rejected Kim’s demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for partial disarmament steps during their second summit in Vietnam in February. The two countries haven’t met publicly since then. /kga

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TAGS: Defense, Diplomacy, Foreign relations, International news, Mike Pompeo, news, North korea, nuclear, peace, Ri Yong-Ho, Security, talks, US, world, world news
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