CIA director: N. Korea months away from perfecting nuke weapons capability

(MENAFN- Asia Times)

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency said Thursday that North Korea is months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capability.

Korea JoongAng Daily that CIA Director Mike Pompeo made the comments at a security forum hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank.

'They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,' Pompeo was quoted as saying, referring to Pyongyang's growing capability to strike the US with a nuclear-armed ballistic missile.

'They are closer now than they were five years ago, and I expect they will be closer in five months than they are today, absent a global effort to push back against them,' said the CIA chief. 'That is each test, successful or unsuccessful as defined in the West, continues to develop [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un and his engineers' and scientists' knowledge base. They are intent upon completing that whole chain of activity.'

Pompeo was reportedly referring to the North's missile re-entry and nuclear warhead miniaturization technology.

'We are at a time where the president has concluded that we need a global effort to ensure that Kim Jong-un doesn't have that capacity,' he said.

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