Central Intelligence Agency chief: Not surprising if North Korea tests missile again

Frederick Owens
August 13, 2017

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.

USA 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.

"We're not closer to war than a week ago but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago", McMaster said, adding that the Trump administration is prepared to deal militarily with North Korea if necessary.

Trump last week said North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if leader Kim Jung Un followed through on a threat to execute a missile strike on nearby Guam, a US territory with an American military base.

Later, Trump stressed that the USA military is "locked and loaded" for a potential conflict.

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

"He's pretty isolated today for the first time", he said.

Pompeo said Sunday, "The president made clear to the North Korea regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken".

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He is expected on Monday to launch a trade investigation into China. He also will discuss military options in the event the "diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign" fails. "President Trump has made it clear that it is his intention to protect the American people".

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".

White House officials have insisted the investigation was 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.

Trump has urged China to apply more pressure on North Korea.

State-run China Central Television quoted Xi as telling Trump the "relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula".

He also clarified the president's warnings, noting that the USA does not want war with North Korea but will take action to defend itself if attacked.

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

The tough talk capped a week in which long-standing tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over.

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