World America 21 Oct 2017 North Korea ‘on cu ...

North Korea ‘on cusp’ of hitting US with nukes

AGENCIES
Published Oct 21, 2017, 1:59 am IST
Updated Oct 21, 2017, 1:59 am IST
CIA chief says time to think of how to stop ‘final step’.
CIA chief Mike Pompeo
 CIA chief Mike Pompeo

Washington: CIA director Mike Pompeo on Friday warned that North Korea is on the cusp of a being able to hit the US with a nuclear missile, media reports said. “They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving” their objective of being able to strike the United States, Mr Pompeo told a national security forum in Washington.

“They are so far along in that, it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step,” he said. “We are at a time where the President has concluded that we need a global effort to ensure Kim Jong-un doesn’t have that capacity,” he added. While he stressed that Washington preferred diplomacy and sanctions, military force was still an option. Pyongyang has claimed that it already has the capability to strike mainland.

 

Mr Pompeo warned that Pyongyang’s missile expertise was now advancing so quickly that it was hard for US intelligence to be sure when it would succeed. “When you’re now talking about months our capacity to understand that at a detailed level is in some sense irrelevant,” he said. President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who also attended the conference, said the US was in a race to resolve the crisis. “We are not out of time,” he told the forum, organised by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank. “But we are running out of time,” he said. Mr Trump and Kim have been engaged in a dramatic war of words in recent months after Pyongyang conducted several missile tests.

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