Mike Pompeo

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s attempts to raise the alarm about Russian interference in American elections was thwarted by White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told her not to bring up the subject with President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Mulvaney made it clear Trump viewed any public talk of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory and thus did not want the subject discussed.

Even though the Department of Homeland Security has the main responsibility for civilian cyberdefense and Nielsen was extremely concerned about Russia’s interference in the 2018 midterm elections and future ones – due to Trump’s attitude – she gave up on attempts to organize a White House meeting of Cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect next year’s elections.

Nielsen’s frustrations were described to the Times by three senior administration officials and a former one, with the White House refusing to provide comment.

The opening page of the Worldwide Threat Assessment, which was compiled by government intelligence agencies and delivered to Congress earlier this year, warned “Russia’s social media efforts will continue to focus on aggravating social and racial tensions, undermining trust in authorities and criticizing perceived anti-Russia politicians” and Moscow might increase its tactics “in a more targeted fashion to influence U.S. policy, actions and elections.”

Nielsen grew so frustrated with Trump’s refusal to discuss an overall strategy she twice held her own top-level meetings on the subject.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied the administration sidestepped the topic, saying “I don’t think there’s been a discussion between a senior U.S. official and Russians in this administration where we have not raised this issue.”

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Source: NewsMax America

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s attempts to raise the alarm about Russian interference in American elections was thwarted by White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, who told her not to bring up the subject with President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.

Mulvaney made it clear that Trump viewed any public talk of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory and thus did not want the subject discussed.

Even though the Department of Homeland Security has the main responsibility for civilian cyberdefense and Nielsen was extremely concerned about Russia’s interference in the 2018 midterm elections and future ones, she gave up on attempts to organize a White House meeting of cabinet secretaries to coordinate a strategy to protect next year’s elections due to Trump’s attitude.

Nielsen’s frustrations were described to the Times by three senior administration officials and a former one, with the White House refusing to provide comment.

The opening page of the Worldwide Threat Assessment, which was compiled by government intelligence agencies and delivered to Congress earlier this year, warned that “Russia’s social media efforts will continue to focus on aggravating social and racial tensions, undermining trust in authorities and criticizing perceived anti-Russia politicians” and that Moscow may increase its tactis “in a more targeted fashion to influence U.S. policy, actions and elections.”

Nielsen grew so frustrated with Trump’s refusal to discuss an overall strategy that she twice held her own top-level meetings on the subject.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied that the administration sidestepped the topic, saying “I don’t think there’s been a discussion between a senior U.S. official and Russians in this administration where we have not raised this issue.”

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Source: NewsMax Politics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s most trusted policy adviser apparently has been removed from one of his posts, a South Korean lawmaker said Wednesday, a possible personnel reshuffle in the wake of the breakdown of the North Korea-U.S. summit in February.

The head of the South Korean parliament’s intelligence committee, Lee Hye-hoon, cited South Korea’s main spy agency as saying that Kim Yong Chol lost his Workers’ Party post in charge of relations with South Korea earlier this month. He was replaced by the little-known Jang Kum Chol as the director of the party’s United Front Department, Lee said.

Lee said she obtained the information at a private briefing from the National Intelligence Service.

Kim Yong Chol has been North Korea’s top nuclear negotiator and counterpart of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo since Kim Jong Un entered nuclear talks with the U.S. early last year. He traveled to Washington and met President Donald Trump twice before Kim’s two summits with Trump.

His rise had baffled many North Korea watchers because he handled South Korea ties, not international or U.S. relations. Previously, he was a military intelligence chief believed to be behind a slew of provocations, including two deadly attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans and an alleged 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures. Both Seoul and Washington imposed sanctions on him in recent years.

The NIS and the Unification Ministry, a Seoul agency responsible for North Korea ties, said they could not immediately confirm the information on Kim Yong Chol.

The NIS has a spotty record in confirming developments in North Korea. But if confirmed, Kim Yong Chol’s replacement would add to speculation that he is being sidelined from nuclear diplomacy to take the responsibility for the failure of the February summit in Hanoi.

Kim Jong Un, who is desperate to revive his country’s moribund economy, returned home empty-handed from Hanoi after Trump rejected his calls for easing U.S.-led sanctions in return for dismantling a key nuclear complex, a limited denuclearization step.

Kim Yong Chol wasn’t among a list of officials accompanying Kim Jong Un on his current visit to Russia, which began earlier Wednesday. Many experts in South Korea said North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho and First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui would take the lead in the nuclear diplomacy.

“(Pyongyang’s) significantly diminished reliance on Kim Yong Chol is a very positive sign for the denuclearization negotiations between North Korea and the United States,” said Cheong Seong-Chang, an analyst at South Korea’s Sejong Institute. He called Kim Yong Chol “most responsible” for the second summit’s failure due to his hard-line stance.

While the NIS believes the personnel change possibly indicates that the department takes a back seat in the nuclear negotiations with Washington going forward, the spy agency also said it wasn’t immediately clear whether Kim Yong Chol would be removed from the talks entirely or immediately, Lee said.

Kim still maintains several other prominent titles, including vice chairman of the Workers Party’s Central Committee and a member of the powerful State Affairs Commission.

Source: NewsMax America

Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO – Pedestrians are reflected on an electronic board showing stock prices outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan December 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

April 22, 2019

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares were steady on Monday as investors took stock of recent data suggesting global growth may be stabilizing, while oil prices spiked on a report the U.S. is likely to ask all importers of Iranian oil to end their purchases or face sanctions.

Brent futures rallied to a five-month high, after the Washington Post said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate.”

The potential disruption to Iranian supplies are expected to add to an already tight oil market.

“The U.S. chief Iran hawks indeed have the President’s ear as (Secretary of State) Pompeo and (National Security Advisor) Bolton are singularly focused on bringing Iran’s economy to its knees,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading at SPI Asset Management.

“Predictably oil prices are rising,” he said.

Equities markets were subdued as investors awaited the resumption of trading in major centers from the Good Friday holiday, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan little changed in early deals.

The index was within reach of a nine-month peak scaled on Thursday after Chinese economic data beat expectations and eased concerns about the health of the world economy.

The advance, however, slowed as many markets in Asia, Europe and North America shut down for Good Friday.

“Equities will be looking at further corporate earnings for immediate incentives. While strong economic indicators, particularly from China, have helped sentiment, they have not formed a strong trend,” said Soichiro Monji, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management in Tokyo.

“The U.S.-China trade talks will have to end in one way or another for a trend to form.”

The Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.3 percent, South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.1 percent and Japan’s Nikkei added 0.15 percent.

In currencies, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was a touch lower at 97.377 .

The index was still within touching distance of a 1-1/2-month peak reached on Thursday after steady U.S. retail sales data.

The euro was little changed at $1.1241 , having taken a hit late last week after purchasing managers’ index (PMI) releases showed weak manufacturing activity in Europe.

The dollar was steady at 111.96 yen .

The Australian dollar, sensitive to shifts in risk sentiment, inched down 0.2 percent to $0.7141 .

The Canadian dollar, on the other hand, added 0.25 percent to C$1.3363 thanks to a bounce in crude oil prices.

Brent crude rose roughly 1.7 percent to $73.24 per barrel , highest since Nov. 7, 2018, underpinned by the Washington Post report.

U.S. crude futures climbed to $65.12 per barrel, highest since Nov. 1, 2018.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Crude extended gains from last week, when a drop in crude exports from OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in U.S. drilling rigs and oil inventories supported prices. [O/R]

(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Source: OANN

The Trump administration is “not going to do a military exercise inside Iran” in order to precipitate a regime change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, Axios reported on Sunday.

Pompeo was speaking in a closed-door meeting recently with about 15 Iranian-American community leaders in Dallas, Axios said, relying on three sources who were in the room.

Pompeo also distanced the administration from the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), an anti-regime organization that the U.S. once designated as a terrorist group and which some in the room said are worse than the current regime in Tehran.

He acknowledged that National Security Adviser John Bolton and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have friendly ties with the controversial group, but emphasized that neither he nor Trump did.

Pompeo mostly used euphemism to talk about the administration’s stance on Iran and was sparse with details, according to the sources in the room.

The secretary of state also said the Trump administration would have handled the 2009 Green Movement uprising against the regime very differently than the Obama administration did, but refused to describe how.

The State Department did not respond to requests for comment about the report.

Source: NewsMax Politics

FILE PHOTO: Gas flares from an oil production platform are seen at the Soroush oil fields.
FILE PHOTO: Gas flares from an oil production platform at the Soroush oil fields in the Persian Gulf, south of the capital Tehran, July 25, 2005. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/File Photo

April 21, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is preparing to announce on Monday that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to U.S. sanctions, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Along with sanctions, Washington has also granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months. They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

But on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,” the Post’s columnist Josh Rogin said, citing two State Department officials that he did not name.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the report.

On Wednesday, Frank Fannon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, repeated the administration’s position that “Our goal is to get to zero Iranian exports as quickly as possible.”

Other countries have been watching to see whether the United States would continue the waivers. Last Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey expects the United States to extend a waiver granted to Ankara to continue oil purchases from Iran without violating U.S. sanctions.

Turkey did not support U.S. sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin told reporters in Washington.

Washington has a campaign of ‘maximum economic pressure’ on Iran and through sanctions, it eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke Tehran’s main source of revenue.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

The United States is preparing to announce on Monday that all importers of Iranian oil will have to end their imports shortly or be subject to U.S. sanctions, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The U.S. reimposed sanctions in November on exports of Iranian oil after President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers. Washington is pressuring Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East.

Along with sanctions, Washington has also granted waivers to eight economies that had reduced their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without incurring sanctions for six more months. They were China, India, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy and Greece.

But on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will announce “that, as of May 2, the State Department will no longer grant sanctions waivers to any country that is currently importing Iranian crude or condensate,” the Post’s columnist Josh Rogin said, citing two State Department officials that he did not name.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the report.

On Wednesday, Frank Fannon, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, repeated the administration’s position that “Our goal is to get to zero Iranian exports as quickly as possible.”

Other countries have been watching to see whether the United States would continue the waivers. Last Tuesday, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey expects the United States to extend a waiver granted to Ankara to continue oil purchases from Iran without violating U.S. sanctions.

Turkey did not support U.S. sanctions policy on Iran and did not think it would yield the desired result, Kalin told reporters in Washington.

Washington has a campaign of ‘maximum economic pressure’ on Iran and through sanctions, it eventually aims to halt Iranian oil exports and thereby choke Tehran’s main source of revenue.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade to commemorate the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in Tehran
FILE PHOTO – Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards march during a military parade to commemorate the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war in Tehran September 22, 2007. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl/File Photo

April 21, 2019

By Lesley Wroughton, Arshad Mohammed, Jonathan Landay and Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has largely carved out exceptions so that foreign governments, firms and NGOs do not automatically face U.S. sanctions for dealing with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards after the group’s designation by Washington as a foreign terrorist group, according to three current and three former U.S. officials.

The exemptions, granted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and described by a State Department spokesman in response to questions from Reuters, mean officials from countries such as Iraq who may have dealings with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, would not necessarily be denied U.S. visas. The IRGC is a powerful faction in Iran that controls a business empire as well as elite armed and intelligence forces.

The exceptions to U.S. sanctions would also permit foreign executives who do business in Iran, where the IRGC is a major economic force, as well as humanitarian groups working in regions such as northern Syria, Iraq and Yemen, to do so without fear they will automatically trigger U.S. laws on dealing with a foreign terrorist group.

However, the U.S. government also created an exception to the carve-out, retaining the right to sanction any individual in a foreign government, company or NGO who themselves provides “material support” to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization (FTO).

The move is the latest in which the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has staked out a hardline position on Iran, insisting for example that Iran’s oil customers cut their imports of Iranian petroleum to zero, only to grant waivers allowing them keep buying it. [nL4N1XG2LY]

‘WHY BE SO OPAQUE?’

Pompeo designated the IRGC as an FTO on April 15, creating a problem for foreigners who deal with it and its companies, and for U.S. diplomats and military officers in Iraq and Syria, whose interlocutors may work with the IRGC. [nL1N21X0A7]

The move – the first time the United States had formally labeled part of another sovereign government as a terrorist group – created confusion among U.S. officials who initially had no guidance on how to proceed and on whether they were still allowed to deal with such interlocutors, three U.S. officials said.

American officials have long said they fear the designation could endanger U.S. forces in places such as Syria or Iraq, where they may operate in close proximity to IRGC-allied groups. [nL1N21Q0HB]

The State Department’s Near Eastern and South and Central Asian bureaus, wrote a rare joint memo to Pompeo before the designation expressing concerns about its potential impact, but were overruled, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity.

The action was also taken over the objections of the Defense and Homeland Security Departments, a congressional aide said.

“Simply engaging in conversations with IRGC officials generally does not constitute terrorist activity,” the State Department spokesman said when asked what repercussions U.S.-allied countries could face if they had contact with the IRGC.

“Our ultimate goal is to get other states and non-state entities to stop doing business the IRGC,” the State Department spokesman, who declined to be identified by name, added without specifying the countries or entities targeted.

Separately, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has replaced the head of the IRGC, Iranian state TV reported on Sunday, appointing Brigadier General Hossein Salami to replace Mohammad Ali Jafari. [nL5N2230LY]

Pompeo’s carve-outs appear designed to limit the potential liability for foreign governments, companies and NGOs, while leaving open the possibility that individuals within those groups could be punished for helping the IRGC.

“Under the first group exemption, the secretary determined that, generally – but with one important exception – a ministry, department, agency, division, or other group or sub-group of any foreign government will not be treated as a Tier III terrorist organization,” the State Department spokesman said.

A Tier III terrorist group is one that has not formally been designated as an FTO or a terrorist group under other laws, but that the U.S. government deems to have engaged in “terrorist activity,” and hence, its members may not enter the United States.

This exemption, a congressional aide and two former U.S. State Department lawyers said, appeared designed to ensure that the rest of the Iranian government, as well as officials from partner governments such as Iraq and Oman who may deal with the IRGC, would not automatically be tainted by its FTO designation.

Under U.S. law, someone who provides “material support” to terrorist groups is subject to extensive penalties. Material support is defined widely and can cover anything from providing funds, transportation or counterfeit documents to giving food, helping to set up tents or distributing literature, the Department of Homeland Security’s website shows.

A former State Department lawyer said the guidance quoted above seemed to signal visa officers should not reflexively deny applications from officials of foreign governments or businesses that might deal with the IRGC, but called the language unclear.

“Frankly, a lot of people are going to have questions about the impact of these exemptions. Why be so opaque about it?” asked the lawyer, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The State Department declined requests to explain the guidance language.

A SPLASH, BUT NOT A POLICY CHANGE?

“Under the second group exemption, the secretary determined that, generally, a non-governmental business, organization, or group that provided material support to any sub-entity of a foreign government that has been designated as a foreign terrorist organization … will not be treated as a Tier III terrorist organization,” the State Department spokesman said.

A congressional aide suggested the Trump administration wanted to signal it was ratcheting up pressure on Iran by targeting the IRGC, but not to disrupt diplomacy of U.S. allies.

“I got the sense that the administration was looking for a splash, but not a policy change,” said the congressional aide, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They are not necessarily looking to punish anyone. They are looking to scare people.”

However, the State Department also made clear it could go after individuals in exempted groups if they wished.

“The exemptions do not benefit members of an exempted group who themselves provided material support … or had other relevant ties to a non-exempt terrorist organization,” the agency spokesman said.

“This FTO designation, like other sanctions actions, has a number of unintended consequences that if left to play out in their natural way, would harm U.S. interests,” said former State Department lawyer Peter Harrell, alluding to the potential denial of U.S. visas to officials from partner countries.

“The State Department is trying to in a reasonable way limit those consequences,” he said.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton, Arshad Mohammed, Phil Stewart and Jonathan Landayj; writing by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Mary Milliken and G Crosse)

Source: OANN

Two months before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed in the spring of 2017, President Donald Trump picked up the phone and called the head of the largest U.S. intelligence agency. Trump told Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, that news stories alleging that Trump’s 2016 White House campaign had ties to Russia were false and the president asked whether Rogers could do anything to counter them.

Rogers and his deputy Richard Ledgett, who was present for the call, were taken aback.

Afterward, Ledgett wrote a memo about the conversation and Trump’s request. He and Rogers signed it and stashed it in a safe. Ledgett said it was the “most unusual thing he had experienced in 40 years of government service.”

Trump’s outreach to Rogers, who retired last year, and other top intelligence officials stands in sharp contrast to his public, combative stance toward his intelligence agencies. At the time of the call, Trump was just some 60 days into his presidency, but he already had managed to alienate large parts of the intelligence apparatus with comments denigrating the profession.

Since then, Trump only has dug in. He said at a news conference in Helsinki after his 2017 summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin that he gave weight to Putin’s denial that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, despite the firm conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that it had. “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russia, Trump said. And earlier this year, Trump called national security assessments “naive,” tweeting “perhaps intelligence should go back to school.”

Yet in moments of concern as Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election got underway, Trump turned to his spy chiefs for help.

The phone call to Rogers on March 26, 2017, came only weeks after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had angered Trump by stepping aside from the investigation. James Comey, the FBI director who would be fired that May, had just told Congress that the FBI was not only investigating Russian meddling in the election, but also possible links or coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The call to Rogers and others like it were uncovered by Mueller as he investigated possible obstruction. In his 448-page report released Thursday, Mueller concluded that while Trump attempted to seize control of the Russia investigation and bring it to a halt, the president was ultimately thwarted by those around him.

The special counsel said the evidence did not establish that Trump asked or directed intelligence officials to “stop or interfere with the FBI’s Russia investigation.” The requests to those officials, Mueller said, “were not interpreted by the officials who received them as directives to improperly interfere with the investigation.”

During the call to Rogers, the president “expressed frustration with the Russia investigation, saying that it made relations with the Russians difficult,” according to the report.

Trump said news stories linking him with Russia were not true and he asked Rogers “if he could do anything to refute the stories.” Even though Rogers signed the memo about the conversation and put it in a safe, he told investigators he did not think Trump was giving him an order.

Trump made a number of similar requests of other top intelligence officials.

On March 22, 2017, Trump asked then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National Intelligence Director Dan Coats to stay behind after a meeting at the White House to ask if the men could “say publicly that no link existed between him and Russia,” the report said.

In two other instances, the president began meetings to discuss sensitive intelligence matters by stating he hoped a media statement could be issued saying there was no collusion with Russia.

After Trump repeatedly brought up the Russia investigation with his national intelligence director, “Coats said he finally told the President that Coats’s job was to provide intelligence and not get involved in investigations,” the report said.

Pompeo recalled that Trump regularly urged officials to get the word out that he had not done anything wrong related to Russia. But Pompeo, now secretary of state, said he had no recollection of being asked to stay behind after the March 22 meeting, according to the report.

Coats told Mueller’s investigators that Trump never asked him to speak with Comey about the FBI investigation. But other employees within Coats’ office had different recollections of how Coats described the meeting immediately after it occurred.

According to the report, senior staffer Michael Dempsey “said that Coats described the president’s comments as falling ‘somewhere between musing about hating the investigation’ and wanting Coats to ‘do something to stop it.’ Dempsey said Coats made it clear that he would not get involved with an ongoing FBI investigation.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

National Security Advisor Bolton listens as U.S. President Trump speaks while meeting with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg at White House in Washington
National Security Advisor John Bolton adjusts his glasses as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks while meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

April 20, 2019

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has criticized U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton’s “nonsense” call for Pyongyang to show that it’s serious about giving up its nuclear weapons, the second time it has criticized a leading U.S. official in less than a week.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is open to a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but Bolton told Bloomberg News on Wednesday there first needed to be “a real indication from North Korea that they’ve made the strategic decision to give up nuclear weapons”.

“Bolton, national security adviser of the White House, in an interview with Bloomberg, showed above himself by saying such a nonsense,” North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told reporters when asked about his recent comments, the Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday.

“Bolton’s remarks make me wonder whether they sprang out of incomprehension of the intentions of the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. or whether he was just trying to talk with a certain sense of humor for his part, with its own deviation,” she said, referring to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.

“All things considered, his word has no charm in it and he looks dim-sighted to me.”

The North Korean vice minister also warned that there would be no good if the United States continued “to throw away such remarks devoid of discretion and reason”.

North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down.

(Reporting by Joori Roh, Josh Smith; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: OANN


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