Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

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

Boris Johnson has condemned North Korea's testing of missiles Boris Johnson has condemned North Korea's testing of missiles
Sammy Stanley | 14 August, 2017, 00:16

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he would not be surprised if North Korea tested another missile, given that it had two tests in July. "He conducted two in July, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test", Pompeo said, referring to North Korea's leader.

"I'm quite confident that he will continue to try to develop his missile program, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test", Pompeo said.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday he added: "They're moving towards that [goal] at an ever-alarming rate". 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.

North Korean officials in turn have accused the USA leader of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

The military option is "locked and loaded" if North Korea makes an unwise decision, Trump tweeted.

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.

"What I believe the president is trying to accomplish this week was to give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored", Pompeo said.

North Korea has markets nervous but not panicked
Despite today's jump, gold still sits well below its 52-week high of over $1,350 per ounce, which it reached last summer. The market also awaited U.S. consumer inflation data on Friday that would offer more clues about the pace of the U.S.

"Our response is we're prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary".

China's president, Xi Jinping, made a plea for cool-headedness in a phone conversation with Trump on Saturday, urging both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation.

Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's official newspaper, said the volunteers had offered to join or rejoin the People's Army after the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) issued a statement on Monday condemning new sanctions imposed by the United Nations in retaliation for North Korean missile tests.

Pompeo said he could not get into specifics but said that North Korea's progress has gone on for decades.

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

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump has asked for a report on what could happen next in the country.

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