Central Intelligence Agency chief: No indication of imminent nuclear war with N. Korea

Cheryl Sanders
August 16, 2017

North Korea has announced a detailed plan to launch a salvo of ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, a major military hub and home to U.S. bombers.

"I have no response to his decision at this time", Tillerson said, adding, "we continue to be interested in finding a way to get to a dialogue, but that's up to him".

He has previously said Pyongyang must halt ballistic missile and nuclear tests for an unspecified amount of time before negotiations can begin on how to halt the stand-off and any threat of United States military action. North Korea regularly threatens to destroy the United States and ignores the worldwide community's pretensions regarding violation of human rights and its nuclear power programs for many years.

The U.S. has missile defenses on Guam, at sea and in the continental U.S. that are created to shoot down ballistic missiles.

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

Trump said this week the US would unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S.

Kim, having reviewed the plans and decided against immediate action, may be signaling that he is open to a diplomatic resolution, which the Trump administration has been adamantly pursuing in hopes of avoiding a very costly military alternative.

"We do not seek an excuse to garrison USA troops north of the Demilitarized Zone", the officials said, addressing some of Pyongyang's fears that Washington ultimately intends to replace the reclusive country's leadership.

In his first public appearance in about two weeks, Kim Jong Un inspected the command of the North 's army on Monday, examining the plan for a long time and discussing it with army officers, the official KCNA said in a report.

"We know swiftly after it's launched where it's going to land", he said.

The news coincided with a speech by South Korea's President to mark Liberation Day, a national holiday both north and south of the border to commemorate the end of Japanese colonial occupation.

Chinese state media say President Xi Jinping, in a call with President Donald Trump, said all sides should avoid rhetoric or action that would worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The North has threatened to fire ballistic missiles over Japan toward the tourism-dependent idyllic island, as Pyongyang and Washington ratchet up their war of words.

State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said last week the USA was not ruling out dialogue with Pyongyang, with which Washington does not have diplomatic relations, but that it was not going to negotiate before getting to the negotiating table.

The top USA military officer says the United States wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation. Seoul and Washington say the exercises are defensive in nature.

The fact that North Korea was persuaded to stand down from attacking Guam suggests that it can be influenced to further actions if the pressure is continued to be applied.

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