CIA Chief: North Korea on Cusp of Ability to Hit US With Nukes

Says North Korea's Progress Too Quick to Predict When It'll Succeed

CIA Chief Mike Pompeo today played up the growing North Korean missile capability, warning the nation is on the cusp of having the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to US targets, saying efforts are being taken to prevent this.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Pompeo warned that North Korea’s progress is so quick now that there’s no way to predict when they’ll succeed, adding “you’re now talking about months” and that a “detailed level” of precision is irrelevant.

North Korea has been very public about wanting this capacity for a nuclear retaliation against the US as a way to deter constant US threats for attacks. Officials have even suggested North Korea is loathe to talk with the US until they have this capacity, to blunt the threat of a US attack as a negotiating tactic.

Despite North Korea being on the verge of having a capacity that should make US strikes unthinkable, Pompeo said the US should continue to keep the possibility of attacking on the table. He also jokingly told national security officials that if Norh Korea’s leader Kim Jong un disappears we shouldn’t talk about it.

This suggests that the threat of a calamitously bad war, including possible nuclear attacks on US soil, might not be sufficient to deter current US officials from starting such a war, a disturbing thought.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of