CIA's Pompeo says no 'imminent' threat of nuclear war

Pauline Gross
August 13, 2017

The top US intelligence official said on Sunday he would not be surprised if North Korea tested another missile, given that it had two tests in July, amid rising tensions between the two nations.

North Korea said on Thursday that plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, 2,175 miles away.

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

Pompeo described the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, as "rational".

"I have heard folks talking about being on the cusp of a nuclear war", Pompeo told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday", explaining that there is now "no intelligence that would indicate that we are in that place today". He said the US has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but Pompeo declined to provide specifics.

As the US and North Korea traded jabs, many observers began to fear that the two countries might find themselves in a war that Secretary of Defense James Mattis previously said would be "catastrophic" and "tragic on an unbelievable scale".

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"He responds to adverse circumstances", he said. "President Trump has made it clear that it is his intention to protect the American people".

White House officials have insisted the investigation is not created to apply additional pressure on China as it relates to North Korea despite the president's previous remarks that he would be more amenable on trade if China stopped Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Despite calls for Trump to turn down the rhetoric and end the back-and-forth with Kim, the president continued to make his point, saying Friday that the United States military is "locked and loaded".

Trump has pushed China to pressure North Korea to halt a nuclear weapons program that is nearing the capability of targeting the United States.

"I don't think military action is imminent, but we're on a collision course with North Korea", Graham said on "Fox News Sunday". North Korea has previously mobilized large crowds to show its resolve when tensions escalate.

The North then came out with a threat to lob four intermediate-range "Hwasong-12" missiles near Guam, a tiny USA territory some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from the North's capital, Pyongyang.

Other reports by GizPress

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