Mike Pompeo reportedly joked with Kim Jong-un about killing him during meeting prior to Singapore summit

Secretary of state has held a number of meetings with North Korean officials this year

Chris Riotta
New York
Tuesday 19 June 2018 16:37
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked with Kim Jong-un about killing the North Korean leader during a meeting together earlier this year.

During a conference last year, Mr Pompeo spoke about the possibility of regime change in North Korea, saying: “The North Korean people I'm sure are lovely people and would love to see [Mr Kim] go.”

Mr Kim then confronted Mr Pompeo about his comments when he visited Pyongyang in April, according to a former staffer for the then-CIA director who spoke with Vanity Fair.

“Pompeo didn’t flinch,” the report said. ”The CIA director joked that he was still trying to kill him, this former staffer said, and both men laughed.”

Mr Pompeo had also previously warned of the potential consequences of ousting the North Korean leader. He said that removing Mr Kim would not be “unadulterated good” for America

Officials at the State Department declined to comment on-record about Mr Pompeo’s exchange with the North Korean leader. Not much is known publicly about what the two discussed prior to President Donald Trump’s historic summit with Mr Kim earlier this month, when the two leaders vowed to work together to denuclearise the North Korean peninsula.

The former CIA director’s trip was seen as a big step in opening the lines of communication between North Korea and the US. For most of 2017, North Korea and Washington traded threats, with Pyongyang conducting missile and nuclear tests at an unprecedented rate, while Mr Trump hurled insults at Mr Kim in referring to him as “Rocket Man” in a number of tweets.

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