July 25, 2018 / 8:51 PM / 21 days ago

North Korea is continuing to produce nuclear bomb fuel: Pompeo

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.

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

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 program 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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