Central Intelligence Agency chief says 'nothing imminent' in US-North Korea standoff

14 Août, 2017, 03:04 | Author: Claudine Rigal

His comments come amid growing tensions between the U.S. and the rogue nation - over its nuclear program.

But he stressed that there was also "a very determined diplomatic effort" under way to put pressure on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo said it's clear North Korea's nuclear capabilities are progressing rapidly, but he downplayed any immediate risk to the United States.

North Korea warned foreign diplomats to leave Pyongyang in 2013 when it suspended work at a joint inter-Korean industrial park and threatened missile strikes on U.S. Pacific bases, notably in Guam and Hawaii. That prompted a new round of United Nations economic sanctions, which angered Mr Kim's regime.

Pressed on his "nothing imminent" statement, Mr Pompeo said: "What I'm talking about is, I've heard folks talking about that we have been on the cusp of a nuclear war".

White House officials have insisted the investigation is 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.

Thursday: He says that his "fire and fury" warning maybe "wasn't tough enough".

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He played down the gravity of Trump's tweet Friday that the US military is "locked and loaded" to respond to North Korea's threats.

Who said it: Trump or Kim?

"We are going to continue to work the issue", Mattis told a Pentagon news conference.

Pompeo also defended President Donald Trump's warning that North Korea, which has been in conflict with the United States since the start of the Korean War in 1950, would face "fire and fury" if it issued any more threats to the US, comments that were widely criticized last week as overheated and interpreted by some as threatening a preemptive nuclear attack.

Several countries have expressed concern with the escalation of the crisis.

In a phone call with Mr Trump on Saturday, China's Xi Jinping urged both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation. In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a US territory in the Pacific.

In response, Mr Trump said North Korea should expect "big, big trouble" if anything happened to Guam.

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