North Korea moving 'ever closer' to putting USA at risk — Central Intelligence Agency

25 January, 2018, 02:51 | Author: Charlene Valdez
  • Soldiers from North Korea center and South Korea at Panmunjom a border village

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says North Korea is trying to develop the capability to fire multiple, simultaneous ballistic missiles toward the United States.

He also acknowledged that North Korea has made rapid progress in their development of their ballistic missile program but denied recent reports that the US intelligence community had misjudged the DPRK's capabilities on this front.

"He kept pushing us on what was really taking place, what was possible given the configuration of forces on the ground", Pompeo said in reference to Yemen.

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"The logical next step would be to develop an arsenal of weapons that is not one, not a showpiece, not something to drive on a parade route", he added. While Pompeo's remarks elicited laughter from the crowd, they also provided some insight into the CIA's assessment of what is driving Kim's decision making.

"North Korea is ever closer to being able to hold America at risk", Pompeo told the conservative-leaning think tank in Washington. He said the Trump administration is "laser-focused" on achieving a diplomatic solution to the nuclear standoff.

"I'd sit down, but I'm not sure that sitting down will solve the problem", Mr. Trump said, noting that past negotiations with the North Koreans by his predecessors had failed to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. "It would marginalize the U.S. So from a U.S. foreign policy perspective, I think that is a mistaken view and has a number of risks involved", said security analyst Daniel Pinkston, who is a lecturer in worldwide relations with Troy University in Seoul. I said, 'We're going to be out, we're going to move out of that station. You have to be certain that what you aim to deliver will actually be successful. At the very least you need to make sure your adversary believes that. Kim Jong-il is his deceased father. "He is trying to put in our mind the reality that he can deliver that pain to the United States of America and our mission is to make the day that he can do that as far off as possible".

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But it was on North Korea that had his most pointed comments. The indictment against Jerry Chun Shing Lee says that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents found "two small books containing handwritten notes that contained classified information", including among other things the "true names and phone numbers of assets and covert Central Intelligence Agency employees" and locations of covert facilities.

On counterintelligence, said one his first moves as director was a reorganization so that "the woman who runs our counterintelligence mission center reports directly to me now".

Pompeo was careful not to assign blame to the agency he now leads and acknowledged that obtaining accurate and reliable information from inside North Korea has been hard for many years.

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The CIA will "push back against the Russians" wherever it finds them, the agency's director said in a rare public appearance. "It wasn't the case that it had been ignored". So we within weeks of me coming in, I created a Korea mission centre.

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