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 Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the North conducted some sort of test, but appeared to play down concerns.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTING U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE PATRICK SHANAHAN, SAYING: I'm not going to go into the detailed intelligence but the way I'd characterize it is it's not a ballistic missile, OK?
And then there's no change to our posture or to our operations." 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.'
North Korea 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."