Speaking to BBC News, CIA director Mike Pompeo clarified that the intelligence service and its allies are mindful of the North Korean threat. Pompeo also said that the CIA discusses North Korean leader Kim Jong-un having the ability to launch a nuclear weapon to the US within several months.

North Korean missile tests

North Korean missile tests Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

CIA director Mike Pompeo told BBC News on Monday that his agency is mindful of the risk North Korean leader Kim Jong-un poses to the entire world.  Pompeo also warned that the dictatorship may be capable of launching nuclear weapons within several months.

“We are mindful that Kim Jong-un continues to present a risk not only to the United States but to the world,” said Pompeo. “Collectively, the United States and our intelligence partners around the world have developed a pretty clear understanding of Kim Jong-un’s capability. We talk about him having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the United States in a matter of a handful of months.”

The intelligence chief emphasized that using force against North Korea may lead to devastating consequences in the region. Pompeo clarified that his agency remains aware of these dangers and said that “many things are possible” when it comes to preventing Pyongyang’s nuclear development. “Our task is to have provided the intelligence to the President of the United States that will deliver to him a set of options that continue to take down that risk by non-diplomatic means,” he explained.

Pompeo also addressed the heated rhetoric used by US President Donald Trump with regard to the dictatorship. “When you see this language that the President chooses to use, there are many audiences for it,” he said. “And I assure you Kim Jong-un understands the message that America is serious.”