Trump warns North Korea US is 'locked and loaded'

CIA Director Mike Pompeo says nuclear war with North Korea is not 'imminent'

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN contributor, said Sunday that he does not foresee a scenario where North Korea relinquishes its nuclear weapons.

In a separate interview on "Fox News Sunday", Pompeo was asked about the nature and degree of threat to the USA mainland in light of Kim's continuing drive to develop North Korea's missile and nuclear capacities.

But he stressed the USA is pursuing "a very determined diplomatic effort" led by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that is coupled with new financial sanctions to dissuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un from further provocations.

North Korea, according to the director, has been moving at an "ever alarming rate" to develop nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.

In a separate interview on ABC News, Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, struck a similar tone.

Trump spent last week trading rhetorical fire with North Korea, warning it faced the "fire and fury" of the USA military, which was "locked and loaded" should the nation launch a missile.

"Our response is we are prepared militarily to deal with this if necessary".

There is no imminent threat of a nuclear war with North Korea, the top USA intelligence official says, amid growing tensions between the countries.

"I've seen no intelligence to indicate we're in that place today", Pompeo said.

"Let's see what he does with Guam", Trump told reporters, referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

The top US military officer, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, is traveling in Asia and expected to meet with leaders in South Korea, Japan and China.

China's president, Xi Jinping, made a plea for cool-headedness in a phone conversation with Trump on Saturday, urging both sides to avoid words or actions that could worsen the situation.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made clear how the U.S. will respond to North Korea's provocations, and hopefully, the regime will understand, Pompeo added.

He said the US has a "pretty good idea" of North Korea's intentions, but Pompeo declined to provide specifics.

But he rejected talk of the US being on the "cusp of nuclear war".

North Korea has been especially provocative in recent months, testing a series of new short-, medium-, intermediate-, and long-range missiles.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States", the president declared before the White House press pool Tuesday.