World Bulletin / News Desk
CIA director Mike Pompeo offered assurances Sunday there was "nothing imminent" in the US standoff with nuclear-armed North Korea but said he wouldn't be surprised if Pyongyang conducted another missile test.
Pompeo's remarks cap a week in which US President Donald Trump vowed "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, and Pyongyang countered by announcing plans to test-launch missiles toward Guam.
"There's nothing imminent today. But make no mistake about it ... the increased chance that there will be a nuclear missile in Denver is a very serious threat."
Pressed on his "nothing imminent" statement, Pompeo said: "What I'm talking about is, I've heard folks talking about that we have been on the cusp of a nuclear war. No intelligence that would indicate we are in that place today."
He said the US intelligence community has "a pretty good idea" about what's going on in North Korea.
He added that he was confident North Korea would continue to develop its missile capabilities under its leader Kim Jong-Un, "so it wouldn't surprise me if there was another test.
"He conducted two in July so it wouldn't surprise me if there's another missile test," Pompeo said.
The missile tests last month demonstrated that the nuclear-armed regime now has intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching the US mainland, experts said.
The Washington Post reported this week that the US Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that North Korea has developed a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could be put atop an ICBM.
Pompeo declined to say how long it will be before North Korea could carry out such a nuclear attack on the US mainland.
"It is probably fair to say that they are moving towards that at an ever alarming rate."
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Catalonia police spokesman Josep Lluis Trapero added that a driver who mowed down crowds of pedestrians in the first attack in a busy Barcelona street Thursday could be among five suspects later shot dead in a nearby city.
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For his part, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told RTL radio that "the number of those who have been seriously injured may perhaps be even higher at around 17."
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The pickup truck, which had an improvised white wooden trailer constructed over the back, was transporting them in "overcrowded and unsanitary conditions," said a state police report seen by AFP.
At least 13 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a driver deliberately slammed his vehicle into crowds on Barcelona's most popular street -- Las Ramblas -- in what police qualified as a "terror attack."
The van attack that mowed down pedestrians on Barcelona's most famous street on Thursday killing at least 13 people was the latest fatal assault on a European city.