CIA Director Pompeo Says No 'Imminent' Threat of Nuclear War

President Bill Clinton at the Korean DMZ
President Bill Clinton at the Korean DMZ
Author

15 August, 2017

The CIA has assessed that North Korea's Hwasong-14, the intercontinental ballistic missile tested twice in July, has the capability to reach the United States with a nuclear payload, according to The Diplomat's Ankit Panda.

"There's nothing imminent today", Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday.

In response to American officials stating that nuclear war with North Korea would never happen, Pyongyang said on Monday that any war would "only be turned into a nuclear war".

Senior US national security officials have said a military confrontation with North Korea is not imminent, but they cautioned that the possibility of war is greater than it was a decade ago.

Mr Pompeo said he was "quite confident" that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would "continue to try to develop" the country's weapons programme.

The comments by General Dunford - made during a trip that will also include visits to Japan and China - appeared to be an attempt to ease anxiety over tit-for-tat threats between Mr Trump and North Korea while also showing a willingness to back up Mr Trump's warnings if need be.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned at the weekend that the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" if North Korea acted unwisely after threatening last week to land missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

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"He was communicating to many audiences, certainly the rogue leader in North Korea, communicating to him that the strategic patience of the past decades is no longer - we're just too close to him having this capacity to hold America at risk", he said. About 30,000 U.S. troops are permanently based in South Korea.

"During the visit, Gen. Dunford will meet with senior U.S. and Republic of Korea military and civilian leaders", a defence department statement said.

"The United States military is locked and loaded every day, and especially those who are on the front lines of freedom, such as those that are stationed in South Korea and those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that are stationed in northeast Asia or rotate there", he said. "What we need from an intelligence perspective, what is most important is that our communications are clear that the fella who intends to inflict pain on the United States of America understands the USA position in an unambiguous way". And so, America needs to take this very seriously.

It will be interesting to see what Dunford finds in China, where President Xi Jinping has called for restraint in dealing with North Korea.

"I will not be surprised that they will do another missile test".

Tuesday marks the anniversary of Japan's expulsion from the Korean peninsula, a rare holiday celebrated by both the North and the South. Moon and Kim, who has not been seen publicly for several days, are both expected to make addresses on their respective sides of the heavily militarized border. -China trade. China strenuously rejects linking the two issues.


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