Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

CIA Chief: Not Surprising If N. Korea Tests Another Missile

CIA Chief: Not Surprising If N. Korea Tests Another Missile

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.

The CIA director said President Trump was doing something "very effective" by communicating clearly to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un - and to the world, including China and others who can influence the outcome of the nuclear standoff.

He added that he was confident North Korea would continue to develop its missile capabilities under its leader Kim Jong-un.

Pompeo praised the efforts of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in getting China and Russian Federation to join in a unanimous U.N. vote recently to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, amid the country's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

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Asked how anxious people should be, Pompeo told Fox News Sunday: "There's nothing imminent today".

But he rejected talk of the US being on the "cusp of nuclear war". He said the US has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but Pompeo declined to provide specifics.

The top US military officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, is traveling in Asia and expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China. "Previous administrations haven't taken this on", Pompeo said.

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

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The White House said in a statement that Trump and Xi "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior".

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". "But we're taking all possible actions short of military action to resolve this very grave threat to the United States and the world", the lieutenant general said, citing diplomatic efforts, increased sanctions and increased pressure. When host Chris Wallace pressed him about how close North Korea is to being able to hit the US mainland, Pompeo said that it was alarming but hard to define.

In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific.

The North then came out with a threat to lob four intermediate-range "Hwasong-12" missiles near Guam, a tiny USA territory some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from the North's capital, Pyongyang.

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