North Korea nuclear: USA intelligence report says regime to keep weapons

North Korea nuclear: USA intelligence report says regime to keep weapons

The intelligence chiefs' assessments broke with some past assertions by Trump, including on the threat posed by Russian Federation to U.S. elections and democratic institutions, the threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) poses in Syria, and North Korea's commitment to denuclearise.

More broadly, the intelligence report on which Coats and the heads of other intelligence agencies based their testimony predicted that security threats to the United States and its allies this year will expand and diversify, driven in part by China and Russian Federation.

Trump is planning a second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in February.

While Beijing and Moscow seek to expand their global reach, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said, some American allies are pulling away from Washington in reaction to changing USA policies on security and trade. Trump, who plans to withdraw United States troops from Syria, has said the armed group is defeated.

It recognised that no nuclear or missile tests had been conducted in over a year.

To the contrary, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley told lawmakers, "The capabilities and threat that existed a year ago are still there".

North Korea remains "unlikely to give up" its weapon stockpiles and production abilities while it tries to negotiate "partial denuclearization steps to obtain key United States and global concessions", the report says.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the report stresses that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) is not yet defeated, despite the Trump administration's claims to the contrary. Mr. Trump said those gains justified his surprise order last month for a full withdrawal of USA troops in the country.

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"ISIS still commands thousands of fighters in Iraq and Syria, and it maintains 8 branches, more than a dozen networks, and thousands of dispersed supporters around the world, despite significant leadership and territorial losses", Coats said.

On January 19, Trump said he had had "an incredible" meeting with North Korea's nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol in Washington and the two sides had made "a lot of progress" on denuclearisation.

President Trump withdrew the U.S. in 2018 from a landmark deal on curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions, and has imposed stricter sanctions to try to thwart its actions. That could spark a backlash in Tehran, the assessment warned.

"I think the most recent information is the Iranians are considering taking steps that would lessen their adherence to JCPOA as they seek to pressure the European to come through with the investment and trade benefits that Iran hoped to gain from the deal".

Mr. Trump's critics were quick to point up the divisions.

The intelligence officials were due to continue testifying to the committee at a classified hearing later on Tuesday. Successive reports from the United Nations nuclear watchdog have found that Iran has remained in compliance with the agreement, despite the USA withdrawal.

In the Korean War, U.S. -led multinational forces fought alongside South Korea against the North, backed by China and the Soviet Union. "It is what the intelligence community is supposed to do, and it is providing its best collective judgment". "But this is an intelligence assessment".

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