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CIA chief: No indication of imminent nuclear war with N. Korea

2017/08/14 01:00

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- U.S. intelligence does not indicate an imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency said Sunday, after a week of bellicose rhetoric between the two sides.

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," CIA Director Mike Pompeo said he would not be surprised if North Korea carried out another missile test to advance its missile and nuclear programs.

But he rejected talk of the U.S. being on the "cusp of nuclear war."

   "I've seen no intelligence to indicate we're in that place today," Pompeo said.

This AP file photo shows CIA Director Mike Pompeo. (Yonhap) This AP file photo shows CIA Director Mike Pompeo. (Yonhap)

North Korea, according to the director, has been moving at an "ever alarming rate" to develop nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

"Each time they test another missile, or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons test, they develop expertise. They expand the envelope," he said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear how the U.S. will respond to North Korea's provocations, and hopefully, the regime will understand, Pompeo added.

Trump warned last week that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten his country. In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific.

"This administration has made our policy very clear. We've engaged the world to support that policy," Pompeo said, adding there will no longer be "strategic patience," the policy of former President Barack Obama, which centered on waiting for Pyongyang to return to denuclearization talks while increasing sanctions and pressure on the regime.

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

   "He responds to adverse circumstances," he said.