United States intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

The heads of the United States intelligence agencies Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers Defense

United States intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

Coats focused on a summation of nations and entities who are presenting threats to the US and how they are doing it.

The National Intelligence Director urged China's President Xi Jinping to do more.

"If the DPRK had not had access to the powerful nuclear force and had not gotten itself ready to counter the United States and its vassal forces' provocation with merciless military counteraction, the U.S. would have committed without hesitation the same aggression act in Korea as what it committed against other countries", the official Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesman as saying on May 1. Coats declined to provide such details in an open hearing.

However, Coats refused to reveal the USA intelligence community's estimation about when the DPRK would have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of taking a nuclear warhead.

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.

"In 2017, Russian Federation is likely to be more assertive in global affairs, more unpredictable in its approach to the United States, and more authoritarian in its approach to domestic politics", Coats said in the statement.

Coats, however, described the threat as potentially "existential".

The Trump administration is considering sending 3,000 to 5,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to help train Afghan security forces.

"First, our adversaries are becoming bolder, more capable and more adept at using cyberspace to threaten our interests and shape real-world outcomes", said Coats.

Coats' statement also addressed concerns over China's continued construction on islands and other geographic features in the South China Sea, according to the statement, and will have its first long-range, sea-based nuclear capability when it finishes developing its JL-2 submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Coats told the committee that he seems Iran holding to the nuclear deal agreed to last year, and that the deal, which extended Iran's breakout time for a nuclear weapon from a few months to a year, has enhanced transparency of Iran's nuclear activities. Coats said Afghan troops suffer from "combat casualties, desertions, poor logistical support and weak leadership".

Speaking at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Mr Coates 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".

The post North Korea poses "existential" threat, US intel chief warns appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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