CIA chief: 'North Korea on the cusp of nuclear capability'
Mike Pompeo, director of the Central Intelligence Agency has warned that North Korea is on the cusp of gaining full nuclear capability to target the US. Pompeo also said that Washington preferred diplomacy in dealing with Pyongyang, while keeping the military option open. North Korea had earlier tested an Inter-continental ballistic-missile (ICBM) which purportedly could target continental US. Here's more on what he said.
In July, North Korea tested an ICBM which purportedly brought the entire US within its strike range. In August, it threatened to launch a nuclear attack on the US-Pacific territory of Guam in response to Trump threatening it with "fire and fury." In September, Pyongyang tested a Hydrogen-bomb in its sixth and most powerful test and fired a second missile over Japan.
Pompeo revealed that "North Korea is close enough in their capabilities (to strike the US)." He warned policymakers "to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective." He further revealed that the program was advancing at a such a rapid pace that it was difficult for the CIA to be sure when they would strike.
Pompeo shed light on the truth surrounding Islamabad's recent operation successfully rescuing an American family held captive by the Haqqani network. He stated that contrary to Islamabad's version, the family was "held for five years in Pakistan" instead of Afghanistan. In doing so, he confirmed earlier media reports which said that they were held hostage by a terrorist-group backed by the Inter-services Intelligence (ISI).
On the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections, Pompeo said that "Russian meddling did not affect the election outcome." However, the CIA was quick to issue a statement stating "the director did not intend to suggest a change in intelligence assessment."