CIA Director Mike Pompeo addressed the imminent nuclear threat from North Korea during an interview with MSNBC’s Hugh Hewitt which aired Saturday, saying the topic was “at the top” of President Donald Trump’s mind.
Pompeo said he and Trump talk for almost an hour every day, and that “I hardly ever escape a day at the White House without the President asking me about North Korea and how it is that the United States is responding to that threat.”
North Korea recently tested a rocket engine that experts say could soon contribute to an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea frequently threatens to nuke US cities, and currently missile defenses can do little to intercept such a missile.
“For 20 years, America has whistled past the graveyard, hoping on hope, that North Korea would turn colors and become part of the Western civilization,” Pompeo said of the conflict.
“There’s no evidence that that’s going to take place, absent a very real, very concrete set of policies that put pressure on the North Koreans to de-nuclearize. I think that’s what you see Secretary Tillerson trying to do around the world,” Pompeo said, referring to the State Department’s continued efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear program.
“They are ever-closer to having the capacity to hold America at risk with a nuclear weapon,” Pompeo added.
Though the US and China have agreed on the urgency and goal of possible talks with North Korea, the topic of denuclearization remains completely off the table for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Under Kim, North Korea has rewritten its constitution to include nuclear weapons as a guarantor of its safety.