US intel chief says NKorea 'decision time' near

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WASHINGTON: The US director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, said on Tuesday that time is running out for the United States to act on the threat posed by North Korea‘s nuclear programmes.

“Decision time is becoming ever closer in terms of how we respond to this,” Coats said during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Our goal is a peaceful settlement. We are using maximum pressure on North Korea in various ways.”

Coats told the Senate panel’s annual hearing on “Worldwide Threats,” with testimony from leaders of major US intelligence agencies, that he expected more missile tests from North Korea this year.

“In the wake of accelerated missile testing since 2016, North Korea is likely to press ahead with more tests in 2018, and its Foreign Minister said that (North Korean leader) Kim (Jong Un) may be considering conducting an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific Ocean,” he said.

He said Pyongyang‘s repeated statements…

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