North Korea: No imminent threat of nuclear war, says Central Intelligence Agency chief

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WASHINGTON, USA - CIA Director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday, August 13, there was "nothing imminent" in the US standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he wouldn't be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.

"He's pretty isolated today for the first time", he said.

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.

"They've been growing closer for two decades plus ..."

Pompeo sought to assuage those concerns Sunday, explaining that "there's nothing imminent today".

He played down the gravity of Trump's tweet Friday that the US military is "locked and loaded" to respond to North Korea's threats.

"He responds to adverse circumstances", he said.

"We're all looking to get out of this situation without a war", Dunford said. "President Trump has made it clear that it is his intention to protect the American people". In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a US territory in the Pacific.

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The call came after Trump made fresh threats against North Korea on Friday, declaring the US military "locked and loaded" and warning Kim that he "will regret it fast" if he takes any action against USA territories or allies.

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.

The White House said in a statement that Trump and Xi "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior".

State-run China Central Television quoted Xi as telling Trump the "relevant parties must maintain restraint and avoid words and deeds that would exacerbate the tension on the Korean Peninsula". "It is probably fair to say they are moving toward that at an ever-alarming rate", he said when asked whether North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S.

In response, Mr Trump said North Korea should expect "big, big trouble" if anything happened to Guam.

The tough talk capped a week in which long-standing tensions between the countries risked abruptly boiling over.

He also clarified the president's warnings, noting that the USA does not want war with North Korea but will take action to defend itself if attacked.

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