There’s no “imminent” threat of a nuclear war between the US and North Korea, according to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who explained that Donald Trump’s threats against Pyongyang describe only a possible response for “certain actions.”
“There’s nothing imminent today,” Pompeo told Fox News on Sunday.
“But make no mistake about it, the continuation, the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat and the investigation is going to treat it as such.”
“What I’m talking about is I’ve heard folks talking about being on the cusp of a nuclear war,” he added. “No intelligence that would indicate that we’re in that place today.”
Rather than an escalation to a nuclear war, Pompeo argued that Trump’s heated rhetoric towards Pyongyang was to send a message that its continued pursuit of a nuclear arsenal and ballistic missile technology would not be tolerated.
“The president has made it very clear to the North Korean regime how America will respond if certain actions are taken,” Pompeo said.
“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.”
READ MORE: ‘You’re going to become extremely famous’: Trump gives Guam governor pep-talk phone call (VIDEO)
“It’s that straightforward,” Pompeo said. “What we need from an intelligence perspective, what is most important is that our communications are clear that the fella who intends to inflict pain on the United States of America understands the US position in an unambiguous way. That’s the best message you can deliver to someone who’s putting America at risk.”
‘Public told N. Korea war won’t kill people in US’
However, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that both sides were inching dangerously close to a confrontation.
“How close have we come to this situation? Yes, we’ve come very close to a possible armed conflict,” she said in an interview with the TV channel Russia-1.
“If there really is an armed force scenario and if everything indeed happens the way the Washington establishment is trying to scare us all with, the situation will be simply catastrophic,” she added, before noting that that “the whole world tried to prevent the sprawl of the disaster” of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, back in 2011.
Zakharova said that the United States was not considering the full repercussions of an armed conflict in the region.
“The representatives of the establishment, the senators, they try to say to the public that they will not even have to worry about it, because people will die not in the US, but in other countries, though not just in North Korea,” she explained. “I think they are thinking of South Korea as well.”
READ MORE: North Korea stands no chance against US, Guam threat is a bluff – Russian general to RT
President Trump has taken a harsher stance against North Korea than his predecessor, Barack Obama, while Pyongyang has carried on ignoring sanctions and UN Security Council rulings against its nuclear weapons program. The war of words between the two sides took a more serious turn on Tuesday, when Trump threatened to meet North Korea with “fire and fury” if it continues to make threats against the United States. Pyongyang responded by saying it was working on a plan to launch a medium-range ballistic missile close to the US territory of Guam, some 3,200km from North Korea.