nsucurrent.com February 22, 2018

North Korea develops its nuclear programme "at an alarming rate"

15 August 2017, 12:27 | Colleen Roy

CIA director says Trump finds it "unacceptable" for North Korea to have warhead that can reach US

Guest commentary: Laying out a way forward on North Korea

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday there was "nothing imminent" in the USA standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he wouldn't be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.

During an interview on "FOX News Sunday", CIA Director Mike Pompeo explained to host Chris Wallace why the deteriorating situation in Venezuela is important to US national security.

"What I'm talking about is I've heard folks talking about being on the cusp of a nuclear war".

On CBS's Face the Nation, Pompeo emphasized that, "An attack from North Korea is not something that is imminent", while McMaster told ABC's This Week that the United States is "no closer to war with North Korea" than any previous time.

Tuesday: "North Korea, best not make any more threats to the United States", Mr Trump tells reporters.

Donald Trump's recent comments that the U.S. military is "locked and loaded" to deal with North Korea are part of an escalating war of words - with that warning coming in response to Pyongyang's threat to attack the U.S. territory of Guam, a small Pacific island about 2,200 miles (3,540 km) southeast of the Korean peninsula.

After a week that saw U.S. - North Korea tensions climbing thanks to President Donald Trump's volley of escalating threats, his generals, top diplomat, and intelligence chief all used news outlets on Sunday to emphasize the need to seek a peaceful solution.

The North has accused the United States of mobilising a huge number of weapons and troops for annual military drills with South Korea that begin later this month.

Mr Trump said the USA military was "locked and loaded", while Pyongyang has accused him of "driving" the Korean peninsula to the "brink of a nuclear war".

He said the U.S. intelligence community has "a pretty good idea" about what's going on in North Korea.

"But we're taking all possible actions short of military action to resolve", he said. "Beijing, even if it temporarily acquiesced, would not long abide an American strategy of determining by itself outcomes at the very edge of China's heartland, as its intervention in the Korean War of the 1950s demonstrated".

Little was disclosed as to military matters discussed, which included the full deployment in South Korea of the American-supplied Thaad anti-missile defence system, but Gen Dunford confirmed that next week's scheduled joint exercises between USA and Korean defence forces would take place.

Trump "made clear that the United States will not tolerate our citizens or our allies being threatened by this rogue regime", McMaster said.

The order directs US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to determine whether to investigate Chinese trade practises that force US companies operating in China to turn over intellectual property.

On Monday, Mr Trump signed a presidential memorandum authorising an investigation into China's alleged theft of American intellectual property, declaring it "one big move".

"The (Korean) peninsula issue and trade and business issues are in a different category from each other", Hua added.

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