CIA chief ex­pects new Korea mis­sile test

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - NEWS - LIND­SAY DUNSMUIR

As ten­sions be­tween U.S. and Py­ongyang re­main high, Pom­peo says Kim ‘will con­tinue to try to de­velop’ arms pro­gram

The top U.S. in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cial said on Sun­day he would not be sur­prised if North Korea tested an­other mis­sile, given that it had two tests in July, amid ris­ing ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has of­fered fiery warn­ings for North Korea, say­ing that the U.S. mil­i­tary was “locked and loaded.” North Korean of­fi­cials in turn have ac­cused the U.S. leader of driv­ing the Korean penin­sula to the brink of nu­clear war.

“I am quite con­fi­dent that [North Korean leader Kim Jongun] will con­tinue to try to de­vel- op his mis­sile pro­gram, so it wouldn’t sur­prise me if there was an­other mis­sile test,” U.S. Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency Di­rec­tor Mike Pom­peo said on Fox News Sun­day.

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, 3,500 kilo­me­tres away.

Guam, some 7,000 km from the U.S. main­land, is a tar­get be­cause it is home to U.S. Navy and Air Force bases, from which two B-1B su­per­sonic bombers were de­ployed close to the Korean penin­sula on Tues­day.

Mr. Trump wrote on Twit­ter on Fri­day that U.S. “mil­i­tary solu- tions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act un­wisely.”

Re­fer­ring to Mr. Kim, Mr. 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.”

Mr. Trump has urged China to ap­ply more pres­sure on North Korea.

He is ex­pected on Mon­day to launch a trade in­ves­ti­ga­tion into China.

White House of­fi­cials have in­sisted the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was not de­signed to ap­ply ad­di­tional pres­sure on China as it re­lates to North Korea, de­spite the Pres­i­dent’s pre­vi­ous re­marks that he would be more amenable on trade if China stopped Py­ongyang’s nu­clear pro­gram.

Mr. Trump has also in­sisted that “no­body loves a peace­ful so­lu­tion bet­ter than Pres­i­dent Trump.”

Repub­li­can Se­na­tor Lindsey Gra­ham, fre­quently a critic of the Pres­i­dent, said he sup­ported his ap­proach to North Korea so far.

“I don’t think mil­i­tary ac­tion is im­mi­nent, but we’re on a col­li­sion course with North Korea,” Mr. Gra­ham said on Fox News Sun­day. “I think it’s ab­so­lutely the right rhetoric. I have Pres­i­dent Trump’s back on this.”

The world has con­tin­ued to watch the ma­noeu­vring closely.

This week­end, Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel urged the United States and South Korea to make their planned joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise “as un­provoca­tive as pos­si­ble.”

In an in­ter­view with Ger­man news­pa­per group RND, Mr. Gabriel said the joint ma­noeu­vres “could lead to North Korea us­ing the opportunity for re­newed provo­ca­tion, for ex­am­ple, by fir­ing an in­ter­me­di­at­erange mis­sile at Guam.”

A “spi­ral of vi­o­lence” could quickly fol­low, he said.

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