CIA warns Trump plans preemptive North Korea STRIKE – Experts worried NUCLEAR war imminent
DONALD Trump is considering a “preemptive strike” against North Korea after advice from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Mike Pompeo but outside analysts warn this could lead to an all-out nuclear war, it has been revealed.
Mr Pompeo has suggested North Korea is an urgent priority for the CIA and the agency is trying to set back North Korea’s nuclear programme.
The intelligence chief said the US is developing a range of options from diplomacy to war.
He said: “We’re working to prepare a series of options to make sure that we can deliver a range of things so the president will have the full suite of possibilities. The president is intent on delivering this solution through diplomatic means.
“We are equally at the same time ensuring that if we conclude that is not possible, that we present the president a range of options to achieve what is his stated intention.”
But, analysts warn a limited strike would lead to a nuclear war should North Korea retaliate and cause an escalation.
Former North Korean spy Kim Hyon-hui said Trump’s aim of denuclearising the country, which has been a nuclear state for over a decade, is not achievable diplomatically.
He said: “North Korea won’t give up its nuclear weapons. They’re its lifeline.”
If war was to break out, the South Korean capital of Seoul – a city of 10 million people in range of the North’s terrifying artillery – will be presumably destroyed in the opening stages of war.
Kim Jong-un’s propaganda portrays its nuclear and missile programmes to be focused on the US, but Mr Pompeo said the North does not view its nuclear warheads as just a deterrent to US invasion.
Mr Pompeo said: “We do believe that Kim Jong-Un, given these toolsets, would use them for things besides simply regime protections – that is, to put pressure on what is his ultimate goal, which is the reunification of the peninsula under his authority.
“This is a threat to the whole world.”
The intelligence chief said the CIA considers North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to be a rational man but it is unclear if Kim Jong-un takes the prospect of a US attack seriously.
In October 2017, Donald Trump said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting his time” attempting to negotiate with North Korea.
And when Mr Tillerson said last month he was willing to talk to Kim Jong-un without precondition, Trump’s administration “corrected him”.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s position had not changed, namely that talks were pointless.
Mr Pompeo added: “I will leave to others to address the capacity or the wisdom of a preemptive strike.
“From an intelligence perspective, we’re trying to ensure that all the various options that the president might want to consider are fully informed, that we understand what’s really going on and the risks associated with each of those decisions as best we can identify them for him.”
North Korea will participate in the Olympics which South Korean President Moon Jae-in said is a diplomatic opportunity to ease tensions.
But, North Korea announced the first day of the Olympics on February 8 will be a national holiday to celebrate its army.
Pompeo said it is likely it is demonstrating its military capacity in a tacit threat before the games and that the CIA will be watching the North closely.
The CIA chief said North Korea is a “handful of months” away from being able to reliably launch a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the US.
He said in a year he hoped “to be able to say that a year from now as well” due to stalling techniques and it “is still a secondary mission to ensure that we keep them from that capability”.