Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Former spy chief: Denuclearized North Korea not in the cards

Former spy chief: Denuclearized North Korea not in the cards

Despite expecting further missile testing, Mr Pompeo denied there is an imminent threat of nuclear war.

Tension in the region has risen since reclusive North Korea staged two nuclear bomb tests past year and launched two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July in defiance of world powers.

North Korea's Minju Joson newspaper said in an editorial Saturday that the North's army is "capable of fighting any war the US wants".

Pompeo said the rhetoric from Trump was geared at sending a message to North Korea and letting the isolated nation know that the USA policy of "strategic patience" had come to an end.

This AP file photo shows CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo said he could not get into specifics but said that North Korea's progress has gone on for decades. They said the United States and its allies no longer can afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile. "They expand the envelope", he said.

North Korea announced on Thursday plans to fire missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam, even though there was no indication an attack is imminent. China is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel its wayward ally to end its nuclear and missile programs.

He added, "That's exactly the policy of the Trump administration".

"It's hard to put a timeline to these things", Pompeo said.

"He responds to adverse circumstances", he said.

"I think we're not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago", National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told ABC News' "This Week".

Guam is a target because of its naval base and air force base, from which two B-1B supersonic bombers were deployed close to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, top United States military officer General Joseph Dunford is in Asia and is expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China. "This is something that has a risk of getting to a very, very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously".

BEDMINSTER, N.J./BEIJING - President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying what he called USA military solutions were "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

Clapper said on CNN that the rhetoric was having a destabilizing affect and could cause North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to decide to lash out. "But the goal of capable, ready forces is to preserve peace and prevent war".

The United States and South Korea remain technically at war with North Korea after the 1950-53 Korean conflict ended with a truce, not a peace treaty.

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