Security chiefs: War with N Korea is not imminent

Security chiefs: War with N Korea is not imminent

Some former security and defense officials have said that Trump's rhetoric - including a threat of "fire and fury" and an assertion days later that the US military was "locked and loaded" in the face of North Korea's provocations - have made a volatile situation worse.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Sunday that there is no "imminent" threat of North Korea attacking the USA with a nuclear weapon, but he still expects the country to continue developing its missile program even as other countries call on it to stop.

"I am quite confident that (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) will continue to try to develop his missile program, so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another missile test".

But he rejected talk of the US being on the "cusp of nuclear war". The White House said the two "agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behaviour".

"They've been growing closer for two decades plus ..."

They said the United States and its allies can no longer afford to stand by as North Korea pushes ahead with the development of a nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

Pompeo's interview comes after a week of tough rhetoric from President Trump and other Cabinet officials about North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

President Trump has also insisted that "nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump".

"It is probably fair to say they are moving toward that at an ever-alarming rate", he said when asked whether North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of hitting the U.S.

These comments come following a week of verbal escalation between the United States and North Korea.

In response, Mr Trump said North Korea should expect "big, big trouble" if anything happened to Guam.

KCNA said on Wednesday a mass rally was held in Pyongyang to support the government.

North Korea warned foreign diplomats to leave Pyongyang in 2013 when it suspended work at a joint inter-Korean industrial park and threatened missile strikes on U.S. Pacific bases, notably in Guam and Hawaii.