North Korea is still producing fuel for nuclear bombs despite pledges to give up its nuclear program, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday.
Questioned by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pompeo said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's regime was continuing to produce fissile material.
He declined to answer questions about whether the North's nuclear program was still advancing generally and whether Pyongyang was looking to acquire ballistic missiles that could be launched from submarines.
Pompeo said he preferred to answer such questions in a "different setting," meaning in a classified briefing. He told the senators that answering those questions in public could hurt "complex negotiations with a difficult adversary."
During last month's Singapore summit with President Donald Trump, Kim promised to denuclearize. He gave no timetable and Pompeo said it would be impossible to predict when that would happen.
Just after the summit, Trump tweeted that North Korea was no longer a nuclear threat.
Pompeo said Wednesday that the "primary systems" that have threatened the U.S. still existed. He said what Trump most likely meant by his statement was that the tension between the U.S. and the North had been "greatly reduced."
But Pompeo told lawmakers that ongoing talks with North Korea were "verifiable evidence" of movement toward denuclearization. He said Kim understood the U.S. definition of denuclearization and that the North was not taking the Trump administration "for a ride." He told the lawmakers that they could sleep easy at night.