North Korea develops its nuclear programme "at an alarming rate"

North Korea develops its nuclear programme

North Korea develops its nuclear programme "at an alarming rate"

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that it would not come as a surprise if North Korea carries out another ballistic missile test. Pompeo added that he does not believe that the U.S. and North Korea are on the verge of nuclear war.

"The US military is locked and loaded every day", Mr McMaster said, repeating Mr Trump's threat.

Pompeo's remarks cap a week in which US President Donald Trump vowed "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang countered by announcing plans to test-launch missiles toward Guam. "And we can't know, we don't understand, exactly what the decision making mechanisms are, processes surrounding Kim Jong Un in North Korea or what would set him off". The CIA chief described Kim as "rational" and responsive to "adverse circumstances".

The top USA military officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, is traveling in Asia and expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China.

He will also discuss military options in the event the "diplomatic and economic pressurisation campaign" fails.

"We're all looking to get out of this situation without a war", Dunford said.

Pompeo said he could not get into specifics but said that North Korea's progress has gone on for decades.

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Now it was on countries like China and Russian Federation along with US allies like South Korea and Japan to work in tandem to get nuclear weapons out of the region.

Tensions between North Korea and the United States have racheted up in recent weeks.

The war of words comes as North Korea continues its missile and nuclear programs.

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The North then came out with a threat to lob four intermediate-range "Hwasong-12" missiles near Guam, a tiny US territory some 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) from the North's capital, Pyongyang.

Trump has responded to North Korea's threats with his own fiery rhetoric.

Vice President Pence began a tour through South American on Sunday, but was not expected to make a stop in Venezuela.

Referring to Kim, President Trump added: "If he utters one threat ... or if he does anything with respect to Guam or any place else that's an American territory or an American ally, he will truly regret it, and he will regret it fast".

"The Cubans are there; the Russians are there, the Iranians, Hezbollah are there", he said on "Fox News Sunday".

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