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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Jong-un. Photo: The White House via Getty Images

North Korea wants U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo removed from nuclear negotiations with the country, Pyongyang state media reported Thursday.

Details: "I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled," the official KCNA news agency quoted Kwon Jong Gun, director general of the Department of American Affairs at North Korea's Foreign Affairs Ministry, as saying.

The big picture: The report comes a day after North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the test of a new tactical guided weapon. It's the first indication of a weapons demonstration by the East Asia country since President Trump's summit with Kim abruptly ended without an agreement in Hanoi in February.

The backdrop: Pompeo said Monday he hadn't ruled out a third summit taking place between Trump and Kim.

Between the lines: Pompeo's relationship with his North Korean counterparts has been tense at times. Last year, Choe Son-hui, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs, called him a "political dummy" and threatened to cancel a June summit between Trump and Kim. Trump canceled it hours later.

  • There were reports Choe was again critical of Pompeo following the collapse of the last summit, but the secretary of state said they continued to have very professional conversations.

Go deeper

Inaugural address: Biden vows to be "a president for all Americans"

Moments after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden sought to soothe a nation riven by political divisions and a global pandemic, while warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country and defeat a "virus that silently stalks the the country."

Why it matters: From the same steps that a pro-Trump mob launched an assault on Congress two weeks earlier, the new president paid deference to the endurance of American political institutions.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

U.S. Capitol and stage are lit at sunrise ahead of the inauguration of Joe Biden. Photo: Patrick Semansky - Pool/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: Biden and Vice President Harris review readiness of military troops, a long-standing tradition to signify the peaceful transfer of power.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were inaugurated as president and vice president respectively in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Top Democrats and Republicans gathered for the peaceful transfer of power only two weeks after an unprecedented siege on the building by Trump supporters to disrupt certification of Biden's victory. Trump did not attend Wednesday's ceremony.