Mike Pompeo’s recently published book reveals that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un attempted to break the ice by pointing to the then-CIA director’s efforts to “kill” him, during a secret meeting over Easter weekend in 2018.
Pompeo was surprised by the joke, quickly responding to the dictator with a “little humor” of his own, stating that he was, indeed, trying to kill him, a comment which drew a smile from the dictator.
The story appeared in Pompeo’s upcoming memoir, “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love.”
“This small, sweating, evil man tried to break the ice with all the charm you would expect from a mass murderer. ‘Mr. Director,’ he opened, ‘I didn’t think you’d show up. I know you’ve been trying to kill me’”: Read an excerpt of the book obtained by Fox News.
“I decided to lean in with a little humor of my own: ‘Mr. Chairman, I’m still trying [to] kill you.’ In the picture taken seconds after that exchange, Kim is still smiling. He seemed confident that I was kidding,” Pompeo added.
Kim Jong Un and former President Donald Trump exchanged bitter attacks with nicknames and threats of nuclear war during the first year of his presidency. Relations calmed down in mid-2018, and the two eventually met for a summit in Singapore. Pompeo, who would later become Trump’s secretary of state, earned a reputation for taking a more assertive approach to foreign policy.
Pompeo explained that the mission “to one of the darkest places on earth” began on March 30, 2018, prior to the Singapore summit, and was launched in hopes to fix “the failed efforts of the past that had not eliminated North Korea’s nuclear weapons of mass destruction.”
Although Trump would later boast about the Singapore summit and would take his “love letters” with Kim to his Mar-a-Lago resort after the conclusion of his White House tenure, Pompeo wasn’t as enthused with the North Korean dictator.
Kim and other members of the North Korean government seemed to share the sentiment, as North Korea would later demand that Pompeo be left out of negotiations over the country’s nuclear arsenal.
Ultimately, despite concessions, such as an end to annual military exercises in South Korea, North Korea would never relinquish its nuclear arsenal and began intensifying military weapons testing during the Biden administration.
Pompeo himself has admitted to considering a White House bid in 2024, revealing that he plans to make a definitive decision in spring and that Trump’s early entrance into the field will not deter him from running.
Interestingly, some of the other speculated hopefuls, such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence, have either released books or plan to prior to the 2024 election cycle heating up.
Pence released a book last year, while DeSantis’s book is expected to hit bookshelves in late February. So far, Trump is the only major candidate to declare a 2024 candidacy.
Pompeo’s book is slated for release on Jan. 24.