July 25, 2018 / 8:50 PM / 4 months ago

North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear bomb fuel - Pompeo

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea is continuing to produce fissile material for nuclear bombs in spite of its pledge to denuclearize, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Asked at a Senate committee hearing whether this was the case, Pompeo responded to Democratic Senator Ed Markey by saying: “Yes, that’s correct ... Yes, they continue to produce fissile material.”

Pompeo declined to respond when asked whether North Korea was continuing to pursue submarine-launched ballistic missiles or whether North Korea’s nuclear programme was advancing generally.

Pompeo said he would be happy to answer the latter question if necessary in a classified setting but suggested public statements on the issue would not help “a complex negotiation with a difficult adversary.”

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Lesley Wroughton; editing by Jonathan Oatis and James Dalgleish

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