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‘NKorea, IS threats to US, not border’

WASHINGTON, D.C.: Directly contradicting President Donald Trump, US intelligence agencies told Congress on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) that North Korea was unlikely to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, that the Islamic State group remained a threat and that the Iran nuclear deal was working. The chiefs made no mention of a crisis at the US-Mexican border for which Trump has considered declaring a national emergency.

Their analysis stands in sharp contrast to Trump’s almost singular focus on security gaps at the border as the biggest threat facing the United States.

The US called for more transparency Wednesday as it accused Russia and China of not fully reporting their nuclear programs amid US threats to withdraw from a key arms control treaty.

A senior US official made the remarks as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council — all of them nuclear-armed powers — met in Beijing for talks on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.

Andrea Thompson, US undersecretary for arms control and international security, said there were “uneven results” in efforts to advance transparency under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

“We previously agreed to set [a] format for reporting, but the gap between the reports of the United States on the one hand, and Russia and China on the other, is great,” Thompson said in her opening remarks.

“I cannot overemphasise the value of transparency,” she said.

Top security officials including FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats presented an update to the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday on their annual assessment of global threats. They warned of an increasingly diverse range of security dangers around the globe, from North Korean nuclear weapons to Chinese cyberespionage to Russian campaigns to undermine Western democracies.

Coats said intelligence information does not support the idea that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will eliminate his nuclear weapons and the capacity for building more a notion that is the basis of the US negotiating strategy.



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Today’s Front Page November 13, 2019

Today’s Front Page November 13, 2019