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Ex-U.S. intel official worries about Trump's access to nuclear codes

2017/08/24 00:01

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- James Clapper, former U.S. director of national intelligence, on Wednesday voiced concern about President Donald Trump's access to the nuclear codes amid North Korea's military threats.

Clapper made the remark on CNN as he questioned Trump's ability as a leader.

"In a fit of pique he decides to do something about (North Korean leader) Kim Jong-un, there's actually very little to stop him," Clapper said, noting he was speaking with an understanding of a president's powers.

"The whole system is built to ensure rapid response if necessary. So there's very little in the way of controls over exercising a nuclear option, which is pretty damn scary," he said.

Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" earlier this month, adding later that the military is "locked and loaded."

   Pyongyang also threatened to launch ballistic missiles toward Guam.

Tensions have eased somewhat in the past week since Kim backed down from the threat, saying he would watch Washington's next steps.