North Korea develops its nuclear programme "at an alarming rate"

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Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday there was "nothing imminent" in the United States standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he wouldn't be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.

"The president has made it very clear to the North Korean regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken", Pompeo told Chris Wallace, "We are hopeful that the leader of that country will understand them in precisely the way they are intended, to permit him a place to get where we can get the nuclear weapons off the peninsula". In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a US territory in the Pacific.

"I have heard folks talking about being on the cusp of a nuclear war", Pompeo told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday", explaining that there is now "no intelligence that would indicate that we are in that place today".

New U.N. sanctions condemning North Korea's rapidly developing nuclear program drew fresh ire and threats from the North. Trump, responding to a report that USA intelligence indicates Pyongyang can now put a nuclear warhead on its long-range missiles, vowed to rain down "fire and fury" if challenged.

Trump warned last week that North Korea would be met with "fire and fury" if it continued to threaten his country.

"This administration has made our policy very clear".

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) says there's "nothing imminent today".

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says he's aiming to further develop a working relationship with his counterpart in China in order to lessen the risk of miscalculation on the Korean Peninsula as tensions rise between the USA and North Korea.

He added that he was confident North Korea would continue to develop its missile capabilities under its leader Kim Jong-Un, "so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another test". The CIA chief described Kim as "rational" and responsive to "adverse circumstances".

In a separate interview on ABC News, Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, struck a similar tone. But they're also saying that the possibility of war with the reclusive Asian nation is greater than it was a decade ago. They said the United States and its allies no longer can afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

"Our response is we're prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary".

Senior U.S. national security officials say a military confrontation with North Korea's isn't imminent.

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