Mike Pompeo Reportedly Joked About Killing Kim Jong Un To His Face

news

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly shared a mutual laugh with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on their first meeting that he would go on to describe as a success — despite joking that he was trying to kill Kim.


North Korea makes no secret of its distaste for the U.S. and its various military and spy services. While Pompeo was the head of the CIA, North Korea accused the organization of trying to assassinate Kim.

But Kim's fears were not unfounded. The U.S. maintains it does not plan for decapitation, or regime-change oriented strikes against foreign governments, but it's been constantly dogged by tales of U.S. Navy SEALs training with South Korean soldiers to kill Kim.

Also, Pompeo dropped heavy hints in July 2017, right after North Korea began testing missiles that could hit the U.S., that he'd like to separate Kim from power.

So when the two men met in April, they didn't take long to address the elephant in the room.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang, North Korea on May 9, 2018KCNA

Kim immediately challenged Pompeo, Vanity Fair's Abigail Tracey reported a source close to Pompeo as telling her.

Pompeo then reportedly joked that he was still trying to kill Kim, and the two men laughed, Tracey writes.

Later, the two would pose for photos together. Pompeo would go on to make security assurances to North Korea and wave before them the prospect of U.S. investment in exchange for denuclearizing, which has yet to materialize.

A Japanese paper later reported that Kim had praised Pompeo for his bravery during that meeting.

"This is the first time I have met someone with the same kind of guts," Kim reportedly said of Pompeo.

Read more from Business Insider:

WATCH NEXT:

An undated image of Hoda Muthana provided by her attorney, Hassan Shibly. (Associated Press)

Attorneys for the Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America have filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Attorney General William Barr and President Donald Trump asking the court to recognize the citizenship of an Alabama woman who left the U.S. to join ISIS and allow she and her young son to return to the United States.

Read More Show Less
U.S. soldiers surveil the area during a combined joint patrol in Manbij, Syria, November 1, 2018. Picture taken November 1, 2018. (U.S. Army/Zoe Garbarino/Handout via Reuters)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.

Read More Show Less
Construction crews staged material needed for the Santa Teresa Border Wall Replacement project near the Santa Teresa Port of Entry. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol/Mani Albrecht)

With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.

On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"

But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.

Read More Show Less
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton

A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.

The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.

Read More Show Less
Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

Read More Show Less