CIA Director: “We Are Not On The Cusp Of A Nuclear War”

Sunday, August 13, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Aug 13, 2017

How close is the US to war with North Korea? That was the question several top military and national security advisors struggled to answer over the weekend, mitigating fears of an imminent nuclear war even as Trump raises geopolitical tensions and boosts bellicose rhetoric with every public appearance.

Speaking on “Fox News Sunday”, and walking a fine line of backing Trump’s tough talk but not wanting to raise the alarm at home, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said there’s no indication war will break out.

“I’ve heard folks talking about that we’re on the cusp of a nuclear war. I’ve seen no intelligence that would indicate that we’re in that place today.” As Bloomberg adds, Pompeo also said that the nation’s intelligence watchers – who have monitored recent ICBM tests and North Korea’s improved ability to manufacture nuclear weapons – “have a pretty good idea” about their near-term intentions. “This administration has made our policy very clear. We’ve engaged the world to support that policy,” Pompeo told host Chris Wallace.

In his first Sunday show interview since becoming the head of the CIA, the former Republican congressman from Kansas emphasized that the era of “strategic patience” with Kim Jong-Un is over. “Each time they test another missile, or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons test, they develop expertise. They expand the envelope,” he said. In a later interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Pompeo said containment does not make sense for a North Korea policy.

“President Trump finds that unacceptable,” Pompeo said according to The Hill, referencing an op-ed by former national security adviser Susan Rice that said the United States could “tolerate” a nuclear North Korea.

Pompeo’s sentiment was echoed by national security adviser H.R. McMaster who appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” said “we’re not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago.”

Asked if the US is “locked and loaded” as Trump tweeted last week, McMaster responded that “the United States military is locked and loaded everyday.” McMaster also added that the threat from North Korea to the world is “very, very clear.” “It demands a concerted effort by the United States, but with our allies and with all responsible nations”. “And this is what you’ve seen the president do is bring together all nations.”

The president “made clear that the United States will not tolerate our citizens or our allies being threatened by this rogue regime,” McMaster added and said that “there’s a much greater danger if there were to be any kind of degree of ambiguity in connection with the kind of response that Kim Jong Un could expect if he were to threaten the United States or our allies.”

Separately, just days after Trump’s abovementioned comment that military options against North Korea were “locked and loaded,” General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, plans to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday. Dunford will also meet with senior military officials along with Moon, according to an official with South Korea’s Blue House Bloomberg reports. He will head to China next on the previously scheduled visit, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified military official.

The visit comes as fears grow that a war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will create a miscalculation that sparks an actual military conflict. In a call with Trump on Saturday in Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all sides to maintain restraint and avoid inflammatory comments. A tweet from the joint chiefs on Sunday showed him arriving at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

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