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North Korea war not 'imminent,' Trump aides say

North Korea war not 'imminent,' Trump aides say

Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that Venezuela could become a "risk" to the United States if chaos continues to roil the South American country.

Pompeo also defended President Donald Trump's warning that North Korea, which has been in conflict with the United States since the start of the Korean War in 1950, would face "fire and fury" if it issued any more threats to the USA, comments that were widely criticized last week as overheated and interpreted by some as threatening a preemptive nuclear attack.

When asked about how close the North was to being able to deploy a nuclear weapon that could hit the USA, he said: "They're closer".

The two officials spoke in the wake of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's threat last week to send missiles into the waters off Guam, a United States territory in the South Pacific.

Pompeo also said the intelligence community was not surprised by the recent news that North Korea is now capable of fitting a nuclear warhead on a missile.

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Mr. Trump this week vowed to rain "fire and fury like the world has never seen" down on North Korea if it threatened the United States. That prompted a new round of United Nations economic sanctions, which angered Mr Kim's regime.

Friday: The US president warns that military solutions are "locked and loaded" should North Korea "act unwisely".

North Korea's latest missile test was its 13 (and tenth successful one) since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January.

At the end of July, North Korea test-fired an improved intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a Hwasong-14, that could strike the USA mainland, purportedly, as far east as Chicago.

The US State Department has announced a ban on all Americans from traveling to North Korea following the death of US college student Otto Warmbier who passed away in June 2017 after 17 months in North Korean captivity.

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"This administration has done a fine job of not drawing red lines that we're not prepared to enforce", Pompeo said.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang called on both sides to avoid "alternately showing strength and continuously escalating the situation".

In response, Mr Trump said North Korea should expect "big, big trouble" if anything happened to Guam.

In response, North Korea announced a detailed plan to fire ballistic missiles towards Guam, a USA territory in the Pacific.

In an interview with German newspaper group RND, Gabriel said the manoeuvres "could lead to North Korea using the opportunity for renewed provocation, for example, by firing an intermediate-range missile at Guam". He defected to South Korea in October 2014 and has lived in the United States since March 2016.

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