Published: Mon, August 14, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

CIA Chief: Not Surprising If N. Korea Tests Another Missile

CIA Chief: Not Surprising If N. Korea Tests Another Missile

Joseph Dunford puts on his hat during a refueling stop at Air Base in Fussa, Japan, Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017.

The intercontinental ballistic missile tested twice in July is believed to have the ability to strike American cities across the continental U.S. Over the past week, North Korea has signaled its intentions to fire intermediate-range ballistic missiles towards Guam, home to numerous U.S. strategic military assets.

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo and HR McMaster, Donald Trump's national security adviser, tried to provide assurances that a conflict is avoidable, while also supporting the president's tough talk.

"If North Korea does anything in terms of even thinking about attack of anybody that we love or we represent or our allies or us, they can be very, very nervous", he explained.

Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation", Pompeo said Trump had "made very clear that the United States finds it unacceptable for a rogue leader like Kim Jong Un to have the capacity of a ballistic missile with a warhead that is integrated and fully deliverable to the United States and hold America and the world at risk".

"Our response is we're prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary".

But Mr Pompeo denied that a threat of a nuclear conflict was imminent, saying: "I've heard folks talking about being on the cusp of a nuclear war". He said the US has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but Pompeo declined to provide specifics.

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The CIA chief described Mr Kim as "rational" and responsive to "adverse circumstances".

Meanwhile, top U.S. military officer General Joseph Dunford is in Asia and is expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China. "What he does is he asks us to make sure that we have viable options for him - options that combine diplomatic, economic and military capabilities".

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

He added, "That's exactly the policy of the Trump administration".

Some former security and defense officials have said that Trump's rhetoric - including a threat of "fire and fury" and an assertion days later that the USA military was "locked and loaded" in the face of North Korea's provocations - have made a volatile situation worse.

Meanwhile, North Korea said on Saturday that almost 3.5 million workers, party members and soldiers volunteered to join or rejoin its army to resist new U.N. sanctions and to fight against the United States in the current geopolitical tension between Pyongyang and Washington. China, North Korea's only major ally, has urged restraint.

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