North Korea unlikely to abandon nuclear weapons: USA spy chief

North Korea unlikely to abandon nuclear weapons: USA spy chief

Those were some of the assertions US intelligence chiefs presented Tuesday to Congress in their annual "worldwide threat assessment", assertions that at times clashed directly with statements by President Trump and could pose fresh headaches for the White House as it seeks to reorient foreign policy.

Iran is now not working to build a nuclear weapon, but the Islamic Republic could resume such activities if it does not reap benefits from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said on Tuesday.

North Korea and Iran have such capabilities too, and all these adversaries "threaten both minds and machines in an expanding number of ways - to steal information, to influence our citizens, or to disrupt critical infrastructure", Coats said.

"At present, China and Russian Federation pose the greatest espionage and cyberattack threats", but other countries are catching up, the director of National Intelligence told the committee Tuesday.

USA adversaries will "use online influence operations to try to weaken democratic institutions, undermine alliances and partnerships, and shape policy outcomes", Coats said.

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.

On Jan. 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 denuclearization.

President Trump's decision to withdraw USA troops from Syria shocked allies at home and overseas.

Trump has repeatedly said in recent months that Islamic State had been defeated, justifying his abrupt announcement in December that he would pull USA troops out of Syria. "Previous administrations have not welcomed these Russian overtures, but with Trump, you never know because he doesn't adhere to traditional thinking".

Underwater search for Emiliano Sala set to commence
A crowdfunding page that was set up has received over €340,000 in donations for the private search, beating its target. Mearns said: "Locally, the search was terminated on Thursday and that was what triggered this private search".

The intelligence agencies said Iran continues to work with other parties to the nuclear deal it reached with the US and other Western nations.

The officials painted a multifaceted picture of the threat posed by China, as they were questioned repeatedly by senators about the No. 2 world economy's business practices as well as its growing worldwide influence.

The report specifically warned about Russia's cyberattack capabilities.

"The capabilities and threat that existed a year ago are still there", said Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the director of the Defence Intelligence Agency.

Tuesday's testimony came just a day after the United States announced criminal charges against China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, escalating a fight with the world's biggest telecommunications equipment maker and coming days before trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Russia, on the other hand, is accused of "aggravating social and racial tensions" online, in line with similar accusations that have been leveled at Moscow since the 2016 election.

Coats declined to respond when Sen.

In the Korean War, U.S. -led multinational forces fought alongside South Korea against the North, backed by China and the Soviet Union.

In addition to messing with elections, the United States intel boss said that he expects hostile nations to continue cyberattacks against the U.S., with each country choosing a different tactic based on its strengths and needs.

Related Articles