Central Intelligence Agency chief: No indication of imminent nuclear war with N. Korea

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says nuclear war with North Korea is not 'imminent'

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Pyongyang was moving at an "ever-alarming rate" with its weapons programme and another missile test would not be surprising. "He conducted two in July, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test", Pompeo said to Fox News on Sunday.

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.

Pompeo said it's clear North Korea's nuclear capabilities are progressing rapidly, but he downplayed any immediate risk to the United States. They said the United States and its allies no longer can afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

"The US military is locked and loaded every day", Mr McMaster said, repeating Mr Trump's threat.

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

Who said it: Trump or Kim?

Pompeo said the rhetoric from Trump was geared at sending a message to North Korea and letting the isolated nation know that the USA policy of "strategic patience" had come to an end.

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US financial markets took the rhetorical escalation in stride on Friday even as European and Asian markets weakened in a catch-up reaction to Thursday's drop.

North Korea announced on Thursday plans to fire missiles near the US Pacific territory of Guam, even though there was no indication an attack is imminent. "President Trump has made it clear that it is his intention to protect the American people".

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 is the North's biggest economic partner and source of aid, but says it alone can't compel its wayward ally to end its nuclear and missile programs.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States", the president declared before the White House press pool Tuesday.

Trump warned last week that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten his country.

But he rejected talk of the USA being on the "cusp of nuclear war".

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