International

N Korea making bomb fuel despite denuclearisation pledge: US top diplomat

Prime News, International (Washington), July 26:- North Korea is continuing to produce fuel for nuclear bombs in spite of its pledge to denuclearize, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, even as he argued that the Trump administration was making progress in talks with Pyongyang.

Asked at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing whether North Korea was still making bomb fuel, 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 its nuclear programme was advancing generally.

He 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.”

Pompeo defended what he termed progress in talks with North Korea stemming from an unprecedented June 12 summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in sometimes testy exchanges with sceptical lawmakers from both parties.

He said the United States was engaged in “patient diplomacy” to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, but would not let the process “drag out to no end.” (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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