North Korea poses 'existential' threat, US intel chief warns

North Korea poses 'existential' threat, US intel chief warns

Coats, a former senator from IN, was nominated as director of national intelligence IN January by the incoming president.

At the end of April, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear aircraft carrier task group arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula for a separate joint naval exercise with South Korea. "Russia is a full-scope cyber actor that will remain a major threat to US Government, military, diplomatic, commercial, and critical infrastructure", says Coats in the written version of his statement. Among those options is one to reportedly send between 3,000 and 5,000 US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation troops to the country to participate in the training of the Afghan security forces.

Speaking at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Mr Coates said: "North Korea is an increasingly grave national security threat to the United States because of its growing missile and nuclear capabilities combined with the aggressive approach of its leader, Kim Jong-un".

"Afghanistan will struggle to curb its dependence on external support until it contains the insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the Taliban", Coats told lawmakers in presenting an annual assessment of threats to U.S. national security.

"They are on that path and they are committed to doing that", he said.

The Trump administration is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to help train Afghan security forces.

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Last year's report similarly stated that while the United States does not know whether the Iranian government will eventually decide to build nuclear weapons, but added that "Iran's implementation of the JCPOA, however, has extended the amount of time Iran would need to produce fissile material for a nuclear weapon from a few months to about a year".

Intelligence chiefs gave a somber appraisal of security in Afghanistan, scene of America's longest-running war. "The Taliban are likely to continue to make gains, especially in rural areas", said the United States spy chief, adding that efforts to bolster local military have been less fruitful than hoped. The performance of Afghan national security forces will worsen because of weak military leadership, desertions and combat casualties, he predicted.

The U.S. intelligence community maintains that Iran-which has the largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East-likely would use this technology to launch a nuclear weapon.

"Kabul's political dysfunction and ineffectiveness will nearly certainly be the greatest vulnerability to stability in 2017", he wrote.

Coats also said China can play a significant role in dealing with the North.

The post North Korea poses "existential" threat, US intel chief warns appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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