North Korea's foreign minister on Friday called US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo a "poisonous plant of American diplomacy" and vowed to "shutter the absurd dream" that sanctions will force a change in Pyongyang. The North's blistering rhetoric may dim the prospect for an early resumption of nuclear negotiations between the countries, the AP reports. A senior US diplomat said earlier this week that Washington was ready to restart the talks, a day after US and South Korean militaries ended routine drills that Pyongyang called an invasion rehearsal. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho made the comments to protest Pompeo's remark in an interview with the Washington Examiner earlier this week that Washington will maintain crippling sanctions on North Korea unless it denuclearizes.
Ri said Pompeo is a "brazen" man because he "had begged for" North Korean denuclearization and improved bilateral ties when he visited Pyongyang and met leader Kim Jong Un several times. In April, North Korea demanded President Trump remove Pompeo from the nuclear negotiations. Ri said North Korea is ready for both dialogue and confrontation, but he warned that North Korea will try to remain "America's biggest threat" if the US continues to confront the North with sanctions. South Korea, meanwhile, said it is terminating an intelligence-sharing deal with Japan that focused on classified information about North Korea, a surprise announcement that is likely to set back US efforts to bolster security cooperation in the region. Seoul attributed the decision to its bitter trade dispute with Japan.
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