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

13 August 2017

There is no imminent threat of a nuclear war with North Korea, the top United States intelligence official says, amid growing tensions between the countries.

"There's nothing imminent today", Mr. Pompeo said.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear how the U.S. will respond to North Korea's provocations, and hopefully, the regime will understand, Pompeo added.

He added that he was confident North Korea would continue to develop its missile capabilities under its leader Kim Jong-Un, "so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another test".

As the USA and North Korea traded jabs, many observers began to fear that the two countries might find themselves in a war that Secretary of Defense James Mattis previously said would be "catastrophic" and "tragic on an unbelievable scale".

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Later, Trump stressed that the US military is "locked and loaded" for a potential conflict.

Still, he said Americans shouldn't be alarmed.

The top US military officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, is traveling in Asia and expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China. He also will discuss military options in the event the "diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign" fails.

China's president, Xi Jinping, made a plea for cool-headedness in a phone conversation with Trump on Saturday, urging both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation. In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific.

Tuesday: "North Korea, best not make any more threats to the United States", Mr Trump tells reporters.

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Who said it: Trump or Kim?

The Washington Post reported this week that the US Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that North Korea has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be put atop an ICBM.

But Trump on Friday appeared to set another red line - the mere utterance of threats - that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for Kim.

North Korea, according to the director, has been moving at an "ever alarming rate" to develop nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

The tough talk capped a week in which long-standing tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over. "I've seen no intelligence that would indicate that we're in that place today".

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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.

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