CIA chief: Not surprising if North Korea tests missile again

FILE PHOTO - Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington
FILE PHOTO - Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. May 11, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

August 13, 2017

By Lindsay Dunsmuir

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. intelligence official said on Sunday he would not be surprised if North Korea tested another missile, given that it had two tests in July, amid rising tensions between the two nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump has offered fiery warnings for North Korea, saying that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded.” North Korean officials in turn have accused the U.S. leader of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

“I am quite confident that (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) will continue to try to develop his missile program, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there was another missile test,” U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday.”

North Korea said on Thursday that plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, 3,500 km (2,175 miles) away.

Guam, some 7,000 km from the U.S. mainland, is a target because it is home to U.S. Naval and Air Force bases, from which two B-1B supersonic bombers were deployed close to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Friday that U.S. “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.”

Referring to Kim, Trump added: “If he utters one threat … or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that’s an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast.”

Trump has urged China to apply more pressure on North Korea.

He is expected on Monday to launch a trade investigation into China.

White House officials have insisted the investigation was not designed 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.

Trump has also insisted that “nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump.”

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, frequently a critic of the president, said he supported his approach to North Korea so far.

“I don’t think military action is imminent, but we’re on a collision course with North Korea,” Graham said on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it’s absolutely the right rhetoric. I have President Trump’s back on this.”

The world has continued to watch the maneuvering closely.

This weekend, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel urged the United States and South Korea to make their planned joint military exercise “as unprovocative as possible.”

In an interview with German newspaper group RND, Gabriel said the maneuvers “could lead to North Korea using the opportunity for renewed provocation, for example, by firing an intermediate-range missile at Guam.”

A “spiral of violence” could quickly follow, he said.

(Reporting by Lindsay Dunsmuir. Additional reporting by Paul Carrel in Berlin; Writing by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Alison Williams and Lisa Von Ahn)

5 Comments on "CIA chief: Not surprising if North Korea tests missile again"

  1. James Holthaus | August 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm |

    North Korea will not launch directly at US, the threat is that North Korea will in fact sell Nukes to Terrorist groups for money, and we all know that Terrorists will use the Nukes…We need to be very aggressive in stopping North Korea from developing their nuclear program. Sad to say that both Bush and Obama were too soft on North Korea and China, now we are in a very serious situation. US should shoot down ALL missiles that North Korea tries to test and be very aggressive with China as China no doubt has be supporting and aiding North Korea with their nuclear missile program.

  2. Should North Korea Launch Anything Bigger Than a Bottle Rocket After Threatening To Hit Guam Then Trump Should Consider It An ‘Unwise Act’ And Have The U.S. Military Teach ‘Smart (Bomb) Solutions’ That Are Now Fully In Place To North Korea. We Can’t Have Them Thinking That ‘Ignorance Is Bliss!’ We Should Leave That To Democrats In This Country.

  3. Bullies always back down when confronted with getting their a $$ kicked!

  4. End the CIA before they assassinate another President

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