North Korea could trigger nuclear arms race, Central Intelligence Agency director warns

26 January, 2018, 03:00 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill in Washington

The head of Central Intelligence Agency warned that a cash-starved and expansionist North Korea could sell its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology to other countries, including Iran, and that failure to halt such activity could trigger a global nuclear arms race.

"Kim Jong-Un will not rest with a single successful test", Pompeo said in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute.

"The logical next step will be to develop an arsenal of weapons", he said.

"North Korea is a proliferation risk ... if they have nuclear weapons, or if Iran makes advances in their" nuclear abilities, "then many other countries" are "going to say me too!"

The CIA chief also noted that Kim appears to seek Korean reunification on his terms, not just protection of his regime, by pursuing the nuclear capability.

US intelligence officials believe North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is rational, ambitious and is not likely to settle for simply using his country's nuclear weapons program to stay in power.

"Thus the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) at last came to possess a powerful and reliable war deterrent, which no force and nothing can reverse", he told the Geneva forum, as quoted by Reuters.

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He also cast doubt on whether Kim is well-briefed enough on developments to make wise decisions.

Many in Israel and elsewhere viewed Trump's strike as having returned some credibility to United States deterrence and to its adversaries taking a U.S. threat to use force more seriously after a perception in the later years of the Obama administration that such threats were for show.

Further, he said that North Korea's nuclear program had advanced "at a very rapid clip".

"The intelligence community on this one actually understood the capability and the testing capacity", he said.

Pompeo added that United States spies could easily miss an nuclear weapon transactions.

The CIA is preparing "a range of options" for President Donald Trump to deal with North Korea, the latest indication that the White House could order a strike against the rogue regime. "But we have officers all around the world working diligently to make sure that we do everything we can to support the USA pressure campaign, and to tighten the sanctions in such a way that we have the opportunity to prevail and achieve the American President's mission, which is the de-nuclearization of the peninsula".

Questions about the president's ability to absorb information first arose previous year when National Security Council officials told reporters they used Trump's name in "as many paragraphs as we can because he keeps reading if he's mentioned" and that they used visuals aids to help keep the president engaged. We are counting on the fact that he'll see it.

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