Central Intelligence Agency chief: 'Nothing imminent' in standoff with N Korea

The North has threatened to fire ballistic missiles over Japan towards the tourism-dependent island as Pyongyang and Washington ratchet up their war of words

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson

USA intelligence does not indicate an imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency said Sunday, after a week of bellicose rhetoric between the two sides. "We've engaged the world to support that policy", Pompeo said, adding there will no longer be "strategic patience", the policy of former President Barack Obama, which centered on waiting for Pyongyang to return to denuclearization talks while increasing sanctions and pressure on the regime.

This AP file photo shows CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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.

"This administration has made our policy very clear".

"If he utters one threat in the form of an overt threat. or if he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else that is an American territory or an America ally, he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast", Trump said while on his 17-day working vacation in New Jersey.

Asked how anxious people should be, Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday: "There's nothing imminent today". "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".

Pompeo declined to say how long it will be before North Korea could carry out such a nuclear attack on the USA mainland.

Also on Sunday, the top USA military officer, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, travelled to South Korea.

Gen Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters travelling with him that he aims to "sense what the temperature is in the region".

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

"He conducted two in July so it wouldn't surprise me if there's another missile test", Pompeo said.

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

Pompeo also said that the problem has been ongoing through previous USA administrations, but he argued President Donald Trump was making strides to effect change.

President Donald Trump alarmed some lawmakers last week when he warned the country that it would experience "fire and fury" if it threatened the USA again.

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