One of the big mysteries facing the Trump administration is the status of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
When will they have the capability to target the United States mainland with a nuclear weapon?
Well the CIA Director just gave a bone chilling answer to that question.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo made an appearance at the center-right American Enterprise Institute.
During his remarks, Pompeo declared that Kim Jong Un was just months away from being able to launch a nuclear strike on the United States.
“Speaking at an American Enterprise Institute (AEI) forum on the future of U.S. intelligence operations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo warned that North Korea could be a “handful of months” away from plausibly threatening the continental United States with nuclear weapons.
Pompeo warned North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is advancing at a “very rapid clip.” He added that U.S. intelligence fears Kim would aggressively use nuclear weapons as a tool to conquer the entire Korean Peninsula.
Pompeo repeated his recent warnings that “North Korea is ever closer to being able to hold America at risk,” but said the intelligence community is helping to hold them just shy of achieving their goals.
“I said that was a handful of months,” he recalled. “I said the same thing several months before that. I want everyone to understand that we are working diligently to make sure that a year from now, I can still tell you they are several months away from having that capacity.”
North Korea already has missiles that can reach the United States.
What they do not currently possess is the capability of attaching a nuclear warhead to one of those missiles and being able to target the United States.
Pompeo was then asked if he believed a limited strike – the “bloody nose” theory – would deter Kim without escalating the conflict into full blown nuclear war.
Breitbart reports on his response:
“Thiessen asked if Kim’s status as a “rational actor” meant limited military action to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program is possible since a rational state would not respond in a manner that guaranteed its own destruction.
“I’m thrilled that you asked that. I’m equally happy not to answer,” Pompeo replied. “Let me say this, though: the American people should know 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.”
“We are in a much better place today than we were twelve months ago,” he said. “We are still suffering from having gaps. Part of that is not the intelligence community’s fault per se. These are difficult target sets. I’ll concede that at the outset. But it’s completely inadequate for the CIA to say, ‘Well, that’s a hard problem.’ Of course it’s a hard problem. That’s why you pay us.”
He said the CIA’s top priorities in North Korea included analyzing its command structure, determining how sanctions affect various individuals and layers of North Korean society, and who might be helping the Kim regime mitigate the effects of sanctions.”
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this case.