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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

1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Inside Biden's Taiwan flubs

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Twice this year, President Biden has blurted out commitments that the U.S. is prepared to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion — forcing the White House to walk back his statements and leading to confusion over a high-stakes national security policy.

Why it matters: U.S. defense officials have publicly aired their concerns that China will take Taiwan by force in the next four to six years, perhaps sooner. The president's position on this question may soon have real-world, life and death consequences.