US Officials: North Korea Poses Serious Threat

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The director of National Intelligence says an unpredictable North Korea, with its nuclear weapons and missile programs, stands as a serious threat to the United States and East Asia nations.

James R. Clapper delivered that sober assessment Tuesday in testimony to the Senate Intelligence committee. He and newly installed CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director Robert Mueller provided an overview to Congress on worldwide threats.

Clapper discussed the global threats of terrorism, cyber, weapons of mass destruction, the months-long civil war in Syria and the unsettled situation in post-Arab Spring nations.

The outlook on North Korea comes as the communist regime announced that it was "completely scrapping" the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and has maintained peace on the peninsula for more than half a century.


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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. says it will take necessary steps to defend itself and its allies after North Korea threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike on the United States.

The top envoy for North Korea policy is Glyn Davies. Davies is calling on the North not to miscalculate and says the U.S. is working with South Korea to ensure it's ready for any threats that arise.

He was testifying to a Senate foreign relations panel Thursday, shortly after the U.N. Security Council approved tighter sanctions against Pyongyang for its latest nuclear test. North Korea made the threat before the vote at the world body.

The panel's chairman, Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey, says the, quote, "absurd" threat of a nuclear strike on the U.S. would be tantamount to suicide.


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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously for tough new sanctions to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test, a move that sparked a furious Pyongyang to threaten a nuclear strike against the United States.

The vote Thursday by the U.N.'s most powerful body on a resolution drafted by North Korea's closest ally, China, and the United States sends a powerful message to North Korea that the international community condemns its ballistic missile and nuclear tests -- and its repeated violation of Security Council resolutions.

The new sanctions are aimed at making it more difficult for North Korea to finance and obtain material for its weapons programs.


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North Korea is vowing to cancel the 1953 Korean War cease-fire because of sanctions and ongoing U.S.-South Korean joint military drills.

North Korea's Korean People's Army Supreme Command made the statement Tuesday amid reports that Washington and North Korean ally Beijing have approved a draft of punishing resolutions that is expected to be circulated among U.N. Security Council members this week.

North Korea's latest nuclear test on Feb. 12 was its third. The United States and others worry that North Korea is pushing closer toward its goal of having nuclear-armed missiles that can reach America.

North Korea says its nuclear program is a response to U.S. hostility. The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the Korean Peninsula still technically in a state of war.


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