North Korea said it wants Mike Pompeo out of nuclear talks, hours after announcing its first weapons test since talks with the US broke down.
On Thursday (April 18) KCNA, the North's official state media called to replace Pompeo with someone quote 'more careful and mature in communicating.'
The North said the new weapons test was overseen by leader Kim Jong Un- featuring what it called a 'tactical guided weapon.'
Both moves may be attempts to ramp up pressure on Washington after Kim gave a year-end deadline for the U.S. to change its approach to talks.
The U.S.-North Korea summit in February ended without an agreement.
State media quoted a senior North Korean official, saying that failure was a lesson talks could go wrong 'whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in.'
As Reuters Joyce Kim in Seoul explains, the weapons test has domestic value as well.
(Soundbite) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT JOYCE KIM, SAYING: "Last week - Kim virtually admitted what the public already knows - that the Hanoi summit wasn't a great success.
So since then he has been moving to reassure those at home that even though the sanctions still remain, they are secure and strong.
Also Kim is sending a message to President Trump that even though sanctions are still in place, North Korea will not bow down and will go its own way." North Korea's did not share details on whether the weapon tested was a missile, but the use of the word "tactical" implies a short-range or conventional weapon, as opposed to the long-range ballistic missiles that have been seen as a threat to the U.S. KCNA added that the missile had a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and "a powerful warhead." This comes as Kim vowed last year that North Korea would stop nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, because Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities had been "verified."