CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the United States has to act as if North Korea is on the verge of being able to strike it with a missile.
He warned that North Korea is months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities amid World war 3 fears.
And he insisted the US military must be ready to act accordingly – adding that President Donald Trump is ready to push the big red button should the need arise.
He said: “They are close enough now in their capabilities that from a US policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective.
“They are so far along in that, it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step.
“Whether it happens on Tuesday or a month from Tuesday, we’re in a time where the President has concluded that we have a global effort to ensure that [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un does not obtain that capacity.”
But he said there’s a difference between having the ability to fire a single nuclear missile and the capability of producing large amounts of fissile material and developing an arsenal of such weapons.
Speaking later at the same event, a national security forum in Washington, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster added: “We are in a race to resolve this short of military action.
“We are not out of time. But we are running out of time.”
While John Brennan, who was Pompeo’s predecessor as CIA chief, voiced his concern that the prospects of a military conflict on the Korean Peninsula “are greater than they have been in several decades”.
He said: “I don’t think it’s likely or probable, but if it’s a one-in-four or one-in-five chance, that’s too high.”
Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continue to rise and could be close to reaching boiling point, with North Korea repeatedly threatening to reduce its rival and enemy to “ashes and darkness.”
Source : EXPRESS