Venezuela could become a risk to US: CIA director

Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said Sunday that North Korea had developed "at an alarming pace" his ability to launch a nuclear attack against the United States, but was keen to get a sense of the imminence of a military confrontation with Pyongyang.

He conducted two in July, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test, ' Pompeo said on Fox News Sunday.

But he stressed that the U.S.is pursuing "a very determined diplomatic effort" led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that's coupled with new financial sanctions to dissuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from further provocations.

Mike Pompeo says Pyongyang is moving at an "ever alarming rate" with its weapons program.

They said the United States and its allies can no longer afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

Trump spent last week trading rhetorical fire with North Korea, warning it faced the "fire and fury" of the US military, which was "locked and loaded" should the nation launch a missile.

New U.N. sanctions condemning North Korea's rapidly developing nuclear program drew fresh ire and threats from the North. Trump, responding to a report that US intelligence indicates Pyongyang can now put a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles, vowed to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged.

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"What I believe the president is trying to accomplish this week was to give the Venezuelan people hope and opportunity to create a situation where democracy can be restored", Pompeo said.

He said President Trump was just trying to give the country's people hope when he floated the idea on Friday that the United States would take military action after condemning Venezuelan leader Nicholas Maduro for human rights abuses and calling for him to hold "free and fair elections".

Pompeo said the rhetoric from Trump was geared at sending a message to North Korea and letting the isolated nation know that the U.S. policy of "strategic patience" had come to an end.

"This administration has made our policy very clear".

North Korea said on Thursday that plans would be completed by mid-August to fire four intermediate-range missiles to land near the U.S. Pacific island of Guam, 2,175 miles away.

On Friday, Trump said a military option against Venezuela was on the table, and he described the situation there as a "dangerous mess".

Both "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior", the White House said in a statement.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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