North Korea still making nuclear material: Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

Responding to a round of heated questioning by members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing on American diplomacy practices to advance national security strategy, Pompeo said the North Korean government had "agreed to denuclearise fully".

Pompeo responded and said at one point, "I saw the glee on your side walking away, trying to make a political point from that".

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 hard adversary". Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, Pompeo said again that the North Koreans were continuing to produce fissile material.

During a combative back-and-forth with Senator Bob Menendez, the panel's top Democrat, Pompeo defended Trump's decision to meet one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit last week in Helsinki.

"As far as the Trump administration's goals on North Korea are concerned, nothing has changed", he said.

Pompeo said he was "very confident" that North Korea "thoroughly" understood the definition and said he would share detailed information about the results of US Donald Trump's Singapore summit with Kim and negotiations with North Korea during the secretary's trips to Pyongyang, in a classified session with US lawmakers.

Trump has previously suggested that US opposition to Russia's annexation of Crimea could be reconsidered.

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Pompeo left Pyongyang on July 7 saying he had made progress on key issues, only for North Korea to accuse his delegation hours later of making "gangster-like" demands.

Pompeo said there were "lots of discussions" underway that he was not at liberty to discuss and "We have not been taken for a ride, senator".

Pompeo reiterated that North Korea had agreed to denuclearize.

North Korea is still making the crucial and devastating ingredient required for atom bombs, the US Secretary of State has admitted.

Pompeo has played a key role in recent talks between the USA and North Korea following Trump's historic summit with Kim in Singapore last month.

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However he indicated that no progress had been made on a key USA demand - that North Korea disclose the range of its nuclear capabilities, saying: "An initial declaration.is something that is at the very forefront of what. we think, makes sense to get them to a point where we can verify their full denuclearisation".

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