April 20, 2019

Iran Not Undertaking Activities to Produce Nuclear Device - Coats

30 January 2019, 09:29 | Edward Lowe

Iran Not Undertaking Activities to Produce Nuclear Device - Coats


"We continue to assess that North Korea is unlikely to give up all of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities, even as it seeks to negotiate partial denuclearization steps to obtain key United States and global concessions", Coats said in the "Worldwide Threat Assessment" report.

The report acknowledge that North Korea has been committed to the project but stopped short of confirming that enough progress had been made citing inconsistencies.

Meanwhile, US officials have revealed Russian Federation made a secret proposal to North Korea previous year aimed at resolving deadlocked negotiations with the Trump administration over its nuclear weapons programme.

"Therefore, the second summit's agreement must include the point that complete denuclearization of North Korea, along with security guarantees for the North, are the ultimate objective both sides are seeking", the expert said.

Kim launched his peace offensive towards the worldwide community previous year, holding three summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, as well as a historic summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in June.

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Yet speculation emerged that the Trump administration might have shifted its focus away from denuclearization to the elimination of intercontinental ballistic missiles as a more realistic accomplishment.

The intelligence chiefs also warned of an enduring Islamic State threat despite major USA battlefield gains that have left the terrorist group with a tiny sliver of territory in Syria. Analysts said the North's leadership is trying to inspire people's loyalty to the country and maintain internal unity as the regime is in negotiations with the United States over its nuclear weapons.

The Worldwide Threat Assessment report also says Iran is not making nuclear weapons, but that cyber threats from China and Russian Federation are a growing concern.

"We assess that foreign actors will view the 2020 USA elections as an opportunity to advance their interests", Coats said.

China is also using a broad array of tools, including providing financial aid to U.S. universities, hacking, stealing information on American citizens, and stealing U.S. intellectual property to gain an advantage over the U.S., Wray said.

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Sen. Richard Burr, the committee's Republican chairman, said the government must work with private companies to foster innovation, while balancing concern about security risks.

Coats also said USA adversaries likely are already looking to interfere in the 2020 US election, refining their capabilities and adding new tactics.

Officials also warned, as they did a year ago, about Russia's intention to interfere with the US political system via "information warfare" waged largely on social media, which stokes social and political tensions to divide Americans.

Coats declined to respond when Democratic Senator Ron Wyden asked whether Trump's not releasing records of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin put United States intelligence agencies at a disadvantage.

"To me, from an intelligence perspective, it's just Intel 101 that it would help our country to know what Vladimir Putin discussed with Donald Trump", Wyden said. Trump has ordered a partial pullback of USA forces this year, although no firm plan is in place.

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The intelligence officials were due to continue testifying to the committee at a classified hearing later on Tuesday.

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