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.
North Korea would likely only use nuclear weapons if it perceived a threat to its survival, but the United States remains uncertain how it would define such a threat, the US national intelligence chief said Tuesday.
“Although we assess with low confidence that the North would only attempt to use nuclear weapons against US forces or allies to preserve the Kim (Jong-Un) regime, we do not know what would constitute, from the North s perspective, crossing that threshold,” James Clapper, director of national intelligence, said in an annual report to Congress on global security threats.