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

Gold Up 2.3% For Week, Spurred By Brinksmanship

Gold Up 2.3% For Week, Spurred By Brinksmanship

Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said Sunday that North Korea had developed "at an alarming pace" his ability to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, but was keen to get a sense of the imminence of a military confrontation with Pyongyang.

Pompeo's remarks came on Sunday, capping a week in which US President Donald Trump vowed "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang countered by announcing plans to test-launch missiles toward Guam.

"It is probably fair to say that they are moving towards that at an ever alarming rate".

In a separate interview on "Fox News Sunday", Pompeo was asked about the nature and degree of threat to the USA mainland in light of Kim's continuing drive to develop North Korea's missile and nuclear capacities.

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

"Each time they test another missile, or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons text, they develop expertise, they expend the envelope".

Pressed on his "nothing imminent" statement, 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".

Mr Pompeo declined to say how long it will be before North Korea could carry out such a nuclear attack on the U.S. mainland.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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.

But he stressed the U.S. is pursuing "a very determined diplomatic effort" led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that is coupled with new financial sanctions to dissuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from further provocations.

"He responds to adverse circumstances", he said. But make no mistake about it.

Pompeo also said that the problem has been ongoing through previous US administrations, but he argued President Donald Trump was making strides to effect change.

"We're all looking to get out of this situation without a war", he added.

"The United States military is always locked and loaded", he said.

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