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North Korea's Atom: US intelligence report says regime to keep arms



  Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

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Reuters

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Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Tuesday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee

It is unlikely that North Korea will completely abandon its nuclear weapons, according to a US intelligence report, despite the hopes of the Trump administration.

The Worldwide Threat Assessment Report also says Iran is not producing nuclear weapons, but that cyber threats from China and Russia are a growing problem.

Both countries may be trying to influence the 2020 election, she says.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats and other intelligence chiefs introduced him to the Senate on Tuesday.

North Korea remains "unlikely" to give up its weapons inventory and production capabilities while trying to "negotiate partial denuclearization moves to achieve important concessions in the US and abroad",

Nuclear weapons are considered "critical for the survival of the regime ".

  • North Korea's Collapse of Communications
  • Kim Jong-un, King of Pyongyang

President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean Kim Jong-un in February.

The couple met in Singapore last June on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but little progress has since been made on this issue.

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Reuters

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Notrh Korea's Kim Yong-chol (left) traveled to the United States in December for talks

The report highlights instead a growing threat from China and Russia "more coordinated since the mid-1

950s than ever before".

Both countries have sophisticated cyber espionage capabilities that they may be able to use to influence the 2020 presidential election.

The report also states that Iran is not currently producing nuclear weapons, although the country's "regional ambitions and improved military capabilities" are likely to jeopardize US interests in the future.

  • Trump imposes Iran sanctions again: What now?
  • Nuclear agreement with Iran: key details

President Trump withdrew the US in 2018 from a groundbreaking agreement to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions and imposed stricter sanctions to stop his actions Gina Haspel said Iran was in spite of the withdrawal US has been "technically … in line" with the 2015 nuclear agreement.

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AFP / Getty

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President Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear program deal in May 2018

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the report emphasizes that the so-called Islamic State Group (IS) has not yet been defeated despite claims to the contrary by the Trump administration.

While the group is unlikely to target the conquest of new territories, the report suggests that IS will seek to "exploit Sunni grievances, social instability, and extensive security forces to re-establish territory in Iraq and Syria in the long term."

President Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from Syria shocked the allies at home and abroad. Trump said the group had been defeated.

The government has now agreed to slow the retreat. However, US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Tuesday that IS is almost losing its remaining territory in Syria.

"I would say that 99.5% of IS controlled territory was returned to the Syrians, and within a few weeks it will be 100%," he quotes.


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