Security chiefs: War with N Korea is not imminent

Aug 15, 2017, 00:29
Security chiefs: War with N Korea is not imminent

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday there was "nothing imminent" in the United States standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he wouldn't be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.

"I've heard folks talking about that we're on the cusp of a nuclear war", Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.

U.S officials have repeatedly stated that there is no threat of nuclear war with North Korea.

Mr Moon, who has been criticised domestically for remaining largely silent during the war of words between U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korea, denounced Pyongyang for "disturbing the peace" on the Korean peninsula and urged North Korea's president Kim Jong-un to engage in talks.

"As a military leader, I have to make sure that the [US] president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign fails", Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joe Dunford told the media yesterday from Osan Air Base.

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The military option is "locked and loaded" if North Korea makes an unwise decision, Trump tweeted.

His comments come amid growing tensions between the United States and the rogue nation - over its nuclear program. We do not seek an excuse to garrison USA troops north of the Demilitarized Zone.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday cited military officials as saying that a USA pre-emptive strike on North Korea "remains unlikely", but then noted: "Persuading Mr. Trump of a certain course of action typically requires advisers to make the argument repeatedly, officials have said".

He earlier told his South Korean counterparts that America is ready "to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies and the U.S. homeland", according to military spokesman Captain Darryn James.

"The United States military is locked and loaded every day, and especially those who are on the front lines of freedom, such as those that are stationed in South Korea and those soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that are stationed in northeast Asia or rotate there", he said.

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The US hasn't taken any public steps to prepare for hostilities, including evacuating Americans from Seoul, which is within range of North Korean artillery, or moving ships, aircraft or troops into position for an imminent response.

"That is their ticket to survival, and I don't see any way that they're going to give it up", he added.

Zakharova said that the United States was not considering the full repercussions of an armed conflict in the region.

Responding to a series of questions on North Korea, the CIA Director said the Trump Administration has done a fine job of not drawing red lines that it is "not prepared to" enforce. "He was communicating to the world, to China and to others who can influence the outcome there".

China's Commerce Ministry issued an order on Monday banning imports of coal, iron ore, lead concentrates and ore, lead and sea food from North Korea, effective from Tuesday.

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