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13 August 2017, 09:15 | Opal Carroll
US officials Confrontation with North Korea not imminent
CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon), is "rational" despite the behavior he's shown during escalating tensions with the United States.
But Pompeo says on "Fox News Sunday" that North Korea's push to develop a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States "is a very serious threat and the administration is going to treat it as such".
"It's that straightforward", he added, "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".
"I will not be surprised that they will do another missile test".
"Each time they test another missile, or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons test, they develop expertise".
Pompeo declined to say how long it will be before North Korea could carry out such a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland.
Trump warned last week that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten his country.
The call came after Trump made fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the USA military "locked and loaded" and warning Kim that he "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against US territories or allies.
US National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster echoed the tenor of Pompeo's remarks, saying the threat posed by North Korea is "coming to a head", but adding in an interview on ABC, "we're not closer to war than a week ago". They have already done two in July, has also advanced Mike Pompeo, in reference to the two test-firing of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) carried out by the regime in July.
"Our response is we are prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary".
"But, make no mistake about it, the continuation, the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat", the head of the Central Intelligence Agency said, commenting that he is "quite confident" North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un will continue to advance his weapons programs.
Pompeo also said that the problem has been ongoing through previous US administrations, but he argued President Donald Trump was making strides to effect change.
Later, Trump stressed that the USA military is "locked and loaded" for a potential conflict. "But the objective of capable, ready forces is to preserve peace and prevent war".
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