Pompeo says North Korea’s Kim opened secret meeting with ‘joke about assassination’: memoir

FILE – Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses an audience at a periodic “Politics and Eggs” gathering at Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, N.H., Sept. 20, 2022. The Biden administration has determined that Iranian threats against former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of his former top aides remain credible and persist. (AP…

Former Secretary of State and CIA Director Mike Pompeo wrote in his new memoir that his secret meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un in 2018 began with a “joke about assassination.”

“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,’” Pompeo’s memoir, which Fox News obtained a copy of, reads.  

“My team and I had prepared for this moment, but ‘a joke about assassination’ was not on the list of ‘things he may say when he greets you.’ But I was, after all, director of the CIA, so maybe his bon mot made sense,” he added.

Pompeo’s memoir, “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love,” is set to be released on Jan. 24 amid speculation that the former Trump Cabinet secretary could announce a 2024 presidential run. Pompeo said last month that he will announce his 2024 plans this spring.

In the first chapter, obtained by Fox News, Pompeo writes his meeting with Kim was a “complete secret” and his goal was to “correct the failed efforts of the past that had not eliminated North Korea’s nuclear weapons of mass destruction.” After the North Korean leader opened with an assassination joke, Pompeo said he responded in kind.

“I decided to lean in with a little humor of my own: ‘Mr. Chairman, I’m still trying kill you.’ In the picture taken seconds after that exchange, Kim is still smiling. He seemed confident that I was kidding,” Pompeo said in the memoir.

Pompeo is not the only potential Republican presidential candidate to release a book on his time in the Trump administration.

Former Vice President Mike Pence released his memoir, “So Help Me God,” which detailed his relationship with former President Trump, in November.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is also seen as a strong 2024 contender, is set to publish his own memoir, titled “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” in February.

Pompeo was director of the CIA under Trump until the president appointed him as secretary of State in 2018.

Tags 2024 presidential election Donald Trump Kim Jong Un Mike Pence Mike Pompeo Mike Pompeo Ron DeSantis

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