North Korea news agency KCNA on Tuesday implied President Kim Jong Un snubbed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to discuss denuclearization this past weekend, suggesting Kim was instead visiting a potato farm.
Kim reportedly visited the Junghung potato farm, where he instructed staff to "introduce various species good to taste and ensure the quality of processed potato foods in production and thus raise the quality of potato production."
He was pictured kneeling down in the soil inspecting plants in one photo and laughing with officials in another.
KCNA also published photos of Kim inspecting potato powder at a factory, along with a construction site in Samjiyon County on the Chinese border. The state-run news outlet did not say when the trip was made, but North Korea said Kim was away for a trip to a "local region."
Pompeo visited Pyongyang on Friday and Saturday and was set to meet with Kim, but the North Korean leader did not show. Instead, he met with North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol and several other North Korean officials.
North Korea shortly after issued a statement saying talks with Pompeo were "regrettable" and accused the U.S. of using "gangster-like" tactics to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear missiles.
Pompeo pushed back on the accusations, saying, "If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster" and said progress was made during the talks.
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