The Central Intelligence Agency is briefing President Donald Trump on the risks and opportunities of a limited attack on North Korea, its director revealed on Tuesday. CIA Director Mike Pompeo would not discuss the “wisdom of a preemptive strike” on Pyongyang or its nuclear weapons program, he told an audience at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. But in rare public remarks, Pompeo portrayed North Korea as an urgent priority for the agency, and disclosed aspects of its role in setting back Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program during his first year at Langley.
Kim is a rational man, Pompeo said the CIA had assessed. But it’s less clear that Kim takes seriously the prospect of a U.S. attack, something that could blunder the world into a devastating nuclear conflict. Pompeo would not answer if options exist for Trump to attack North Korea short of a nuclear war. Analysts warn a limited strike would lead to such a war should North Korea retaliate and prompt escalation. He indicated instead the administration was developing a range of options spanning from diplomacy to war, so Trump will not face a binary choice between inaction and potential nuclear devastation. READ MORE