After almost a year of silence, North Korea announced the test-firing of a “new-type tactical guided weapon,” according to the country`s state-run media. But there was a string attached this time, and that was the demand from Kim himself that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed as the top negotiator for Washington with Pyongyang. This was clearly a bid by North Korean leader Kim to bring the stalled nuclear talks to the table and force President Trump to talk. The Hanoi talks ended with Kim in shock as the US – Pompeo and Trump – got up and walked out of the meetings while Kim Jong-un thought he would get a new mountain of cash.
So what we now see is the angry young Kim who was embarrassed in front of his team in Hanoi taking a shot, months later, at Trump and Pompeo for walking out on him and his team. The North Koreans have never been about peace, they tried to leverage their position to get billions in food, equipment, and energy but unlike Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama, President Trump gave the Kim Dynasty nothing. The North Korean news service, the official Korean Central News Agency quoted a senior Foreign Ministry official as making the demand.
In testimony before a Senate subcommittee last week, Pompeo, who flew to Pyongyang four times last year, was asked if he would agree with the characterisation of Kim as a “tyrant” and Mr Pompeo replied, “Sure, I am sure I have said that.”
This move by Kim and his military is a calculated attempt, a risky one a that, to raise tensions and as they have in the past, leverage it for food and energy with the Japanese and the South Koreans giving support. However, the US and Japan have stood fast and have even rejected partial reduction of nuclear weapons. Kim continues to develop shorter-range missiles and other weapons while the US offers “big deals” that would include investment in the reclusive kingdom for a complete reduction to zero – of all nuclear weapons.