Published: Sat, May 13, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

North Korea poses 'existential' threat, US intel chief warns

North Korea poses 'existential' threat, US intel chief warns

The senate intelligence committee is holding a hearing on worldwide threats, and intelligence director Dan Coats said Russian Federation was a threat to the U.S. government, military, diplomatic, business and critical infrastructure. "This threat will persist with many attacks happening with little or no warning". In 2014, there was a data-deletion attack against a US -based casino.

Yet the discussion before the Armed Services Committee focused nearly exclusively on threats in cyberspace and the inadequate US ability to deter, discourage and recover from some scary scenarios.

China is also targeting the us government and American businesses, Coats said, though he said such activity has diminished since a 2015 U.S. He added that ISIS was attempting to connect its global branches outside of Iraq and Syria more closely.

The Senate intelligence committee hearing room was crowded because so many people wanted to hear what the witnesses, all of them intelligence officials, might say about Comey and/or Trump.

Coats said that Iraq will continue to face serious challenges even as the threat from ISIS is reduced, noting the billions of dollars that will need to go into reconstruction and ethnosectarian strains.

Testifying beside Coats, the head of the military's Defense Intelligence Agency, Vincent Stewart, said the state of the 15-year conflict will deteriorate from a stalemate in favor of the belligerents if left unchecked. At the end of April, the USS Carl Vinson nuclear aircraft carrier task group arrived in the waters off the Korean Peninsula for a separate joint naval exercise with South Korea.

Coats said the situation will deteriorate, and the Taliban will make gains, especially in rural areas.

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Coats' report also says that Russian actors have conducted attacks on critical infrastructure networks, even going so far as to pretend to be third parties hiding behind false online personas.

"Nuclear device, processing enough fissile material for nuclear warheads and developing a wide range of missile technology - short, intermediate, long range missile technology".

President Donald Trump is now weighing an increase of 3,000 to 5,000 USA troops in Afghanistan in an effort to stabilize the fight against the Taliban and terror groups there.

"They are on that path, and they are committed to doing that", he said.

"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".

Stewart later said that Iran sees itself as the "dominant regional power", a position that might later put it in conflict with Russian Federation if their interest diverge from supporting Assad.

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