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.

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20 Republican former U.S. attorneys endorse Biden, call Trump "a threat to the rule of law"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Twenty Republican former U.S. Attorneys on Tuesday endorsed Joe Biden while saying that "President Trump's leadership is a threat to rule of law" in the U.S., the Washington Post reports.

What they're saying: In the letter, the former prosecutors criticize Trump's use of the Department of Justice, saying the president expects the DOJ to "to serve his personal and political interests."

  • "He has politicized the Justice Department, dictating its priorities along political lines and breaking down the barrier that prior administrations had maintained between political and prosecutorial decision-making," the letter says.
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  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.