While Director of National Intelligence James Clapper does not believe North Korea will abandon its nukes, the US maintains it will not accept a nuclear armed North Korea, and has demanded that it agree to denuclearization.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the US objective of pushing North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons is a “lost cause,” and the best it can hope for is to curb the ability of the rogue state.
“I think the notion of getting the North Koreans to denuclearize is probably a lost cause,” Clapper told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Tuesday.
He said that North Korea is “under siege and they are very paranoid, so the notion of giving up their nuclear capability, whatever it is, is a nonstarter with them.”
Clapper said that while North Korea has yet to test its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM’s), the US is already operating under the assumption that North Korea has the capability to launch an attack on parts of the US.
Clapper’s comments come amid growing fears that Pyongyang is moving closer to having a nuclear weapon that can hit the US. It has conducted two atomic test explosions this year and more than 20 ballistic missile tests, and is believed to be producing more fissile material for bombs.
The US maintains it will not accept a nuclear armed North Korea, and has demanded that North Korea agree to denuclearization, although negotiations have been stalled since 2009, and sanctions have failed to stop the development of its weapons program.
State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington that the US still aims to resume the stalled aid-for-disarmament negotiations.
In the meantime, the Obama administration says it is intent on tightening sanctions on Kim Jong Un’s government, which doubled efforts to increase the country’s nuclear arsenal.
US experts estimate that North Korea has 13 to 21 nuclear weapons, and could have as many as 100 by 2020.
By: World Israel News Staff
AP contribute to this report.