CIA establishes Korea Mission Center to focus on ‘existential threat’ to U.S.

by WorldTribune Staff, May 12, 2017

The CIA said it has established the Korea Mission Center in order to “harness the full resources, capabilities, and authorities of the agency in addressing the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea.”

“Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said on May 11. “It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges.”

CIA Director Mike Pompeo waits to testify on ‘World Wide Threats’ before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on May 11. /Reuters

A veteran CIA operations officer has been selected as the new assistant director and will preside over the mission center, the statement said without identifying the officer, adding that the team will work closely with the intelligence community and the entire U.S. national security community.

Pompeo said during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that he created the center to “draw the best minds, the most innovative, create people from across our agency.”

“I’m sure we’ll have others join in from across the intelligence community to try and focus this effort so that we can get back on our front foot with respect to foreign intelligence collection against the North Koreans and the capacity, the impact what Kim Jung-Un is actually doing,” he said.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing that a “very significant” amount of intelligence resources have been dedicated to North Korea.

“North Korea is an increasingly grave national security threat to the United States because of its growing missile and nuclear capabilities combined with the aggressive approach of its leader, Kim Jong-Un. Kim is attempting to prove he has the capability to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear weapon,” Coats said.

“It’s clear that we have assessed this as a very significant, potentially existential threat to the United States that has to be addressed,” he said.

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