Central Intelligence Agency chief says 'nothing imminent' in US-N.Korea standoff

Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo

The US Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo says he wouldn't be surprised if North Korea tested another missile, given that it had two tests in July.

"Every time they test a missile, or if they are a test nuclear missile, they are gaining in expertise, and we can say that they progress at an alarming rate", said Mr. Pompeo on Fox News, when asked about the possibility of a missile north Korean nuclear strike on american soil.

He added: "The reaction in North Korea that we are intending to get is an understanding that America is no longer going to have the strategic patience that it's had that has permitted him to continue to develop his weapons programme".

"I think we're not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago", National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster told ABC News' "This Week".

BEDMINSTER, N.J./BEIJING - President Donald Trump issued a new threat to North Korea on Friday, saying what he called USA military solutions were "locked and loaded" as Pyongyang accused him of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

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"We're not closer to war than a week ago but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago", Mr McMaster said, adding that the Trump administration is prepared to deal militarily with North Korea if necessary.

Clapper said on CNN that the rhetoric was having a destabilizing affect and could cause North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to decide to lash out.

USA 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.

Vice President Pence began a tour through South American on Sunday, but was not expected to make a stop in Venezuela.

He said the United States has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but he declined to provide specifics.

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North Korea, meanwhile, has threatened to launch a rocket at the waters near the US territory of Guam some 21,000 miles away.

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

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., welcomed Trump's pugnacious approach, arguing that numerous president's critics failed to stop North Korea from developing a nuclear weapon that could hit the United States.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis later sought to temper Trump's harsh words by saying the United States still preferred a diplomatic approach to the North Korean threat.

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