USA intelligence chief says North Korea 'decision time' is near

USA intelligence chief says North Korea 'decision time' is near

USA intelligence chief says North Korea 'decision time' is near

Mr Coats and other U.S. top intelligence chiefs were united on Tuesday in declaring that Russian Federation is continuing efforts to disrupt the USA political system and is targeting the 2018 midterm election, following its successful operation to sow discord in the most recent presidential campaign, New York Times reported.

North Korea presents "a potentially existential" threat to the United States and is likely to conduct more weapons tests this year, Dan Coats said at the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual hearing on "Worldwide Threats".

Coats, a former senator appointed by President Donald Trump as Washington's top intelligence official, said he had already seen evidence Russian Federation was targeting U.S. elections in November, when Republican control of the House of Representatives and Senate are at stake, plus a host of positions in state governments.

"At a minimum, we expect Russian Federation to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokespeople, and other means of influence to try to exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States", he said.

Leaders of United States intelligence agencies warned on Tuesday that Russian Federation will try to interfere in the 2018 USA midterm elections by using social media to spread propaganda and misleading reports, much as it did in the 2016 campaign.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said it's been more than a year since the 2016 election, but the USA still has no plan to battle foreign interference in elections.

The heads of the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency, as well as the director of national intelligence, were all in agreement about how important it is to address this threat.

United States intelligence chiefs said on Tuesday Russian attempts to meddle in U.S. politics are continuing unabated - and pose a threat to mid-term congressional elections in November.

Russian government cyber-intruders got into a number of state systems in 2016 and although no votes were changed nor major major damage done, officials say, that cyber-threat remains potent across the country. He has repeatedly expressed doubts about the Russian attempt to influence the 2016 election, in opposition the uniform opinion of the intel community.

Executives from social media companies such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. have testified repeatedly in Congress about Russia's purported disinformation drive aimed at US voters.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed asked the officials whether Mr Trump had ordered them to take action. They said there were concerns the Chinese companies would use their access to spy on US officials, and USA intelligence chiefs appeared to agree on Tuesday. "In particular, I'm anxious about the close relationship between the Chinese government and Chinese technology firms, particularly in the area of commercialisation of our surveillance technology and efforts to shape telecommunication equipment markets", he said.

Pompeo said the sanctions decision had to be viewed in a broader context: The United States is checking and deterring Russian Federation across the globe, he said, from sanctions on Moscow's ally Venezuela to military action in Syria and beyond.

"He hasn't even tweeted a single concern", Warner said. He said al-Qaida "will remain a major actor in global terrorism" and will remain "intent on attacking the United States and US interests overseas".

Putin and his officials have vehemently denied any and all suggestions that they meddled in the 2016 presidential election, accusing the US of stoking Russophobia.

Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., said he wanted the report to appear before this year's primaries and to convene another open hearing focusing on the tasks involved with safeguarding elections.

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