North Korea sends protest to US Congress over sanctions

Kristopher Drake
May 13, 2017

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) said Wednesday it had formed a special unit dedicated to assessing North Korea's nuclear weapons threat. It is possible that some or all of the staff could be permanently situated at other locations at home and overseas, including within the CIA's stations throughout Northeast Asia.

North Korea, in response, has increased its missile tests and even hinted at a new nuclear test in the coming weeks. The CIA new initiative comes less than a month after Pyongyang's annual Day of the Sun military parade.

He is the fourth American to be arrested by the North Korean state. The elder Kim died in 1994.

"Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea", CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on May 11.

North Korea argued that there would be no need for Washington to "beg or threaten" countries to implement the measures if the sanctions had a clear legal basis.

"As the US House of Representatives enacts more and more of these reckless hostile laws, the DPRK's efforts to strengthen nuclear deterrents will gather greater pace, beyond anyone's imagination", the committee said, referring to North Korea by the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim Jong Un's regime "continues efforts to expand its stockpile of weapons-grade fissile materials", but "there is still a lot of development needed before" it can deploy a weapon such as a mobile ICBM able to reach the US mainland, Navy Commander William Marks, a Defense Intelligence Agency spokesman, said via email.

It named South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) director Lee Byung-Ho, an NIS team director surnamed Han, NIS agent Jo Ki-Chol, and Chinese businessman Xu Guanghai as suspects, along with "masterminds in CIA".

Former CIA case officer Bob Baer told Al Jazeera that the CIA does not know what to do with nuclear-armed North Korea.

"Though we've seen North Korea accomplish some key milestones in specific short-range systems, important shortfalls remain in the development of longer range missiles", the DIA said.

Baer suggested that the United States should leverage China's influence with North Korea and let it rein its nuclear-armed neighbour.

North Korea has a history of bombastic propaganda featuring unfounded claims.

Coats' statement also addressed concerns over China's continued construction on islands and other geographic features in the South China Sea, according to the statement, and will have its first long-range, sea-based nuclear capability when it finishes developing its JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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