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N.Korea unlikely to abandon nukes: US intelligence


IANS Washington
North Korea is unlikely to fully give up its nuclear weapons, a US intelligence report has said, weeks ahead of a proposed Kim-Trump meet.
North Korea remains "unlikely to give up" its weapon stockpiles and production abilities while it tries to negotiate "partial denuclearisation steps to obtain key US and international concessions", the Worldwide Threat Assessment report said.
Having nuclear weapons is seen as "critical to regime survival", the BBC quoted it as saying.
US President Donald Trump was expected to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un in the second summit between the two countries by February-end.
Trump-Kim met in Singapore in June 2018, to discuss denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, but little progress has been made since then on the issue.
The report also said Iran was not making nuclear weapons, but that cyber threats from China and Russia were a growing concern, the BBC report. Both countries might be seeking to influence the 2020 election, it said.
National intelligence director Dan Coats and other intelligence chiefs presented the report at the Senate on Tuesday.
What the report highlights instead is a growing threat from China and Russia, which are "more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s".
Both countries have sophisticated "cyber espionage" capabilities, which they may try to use to influence the 2020 US presidential election, the BBC reported.
The report also said Iran was not currently making nuclear weapons, although it said the country's "regional ambitions and improved military capabilities" would probably threaten US interests in the future.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 10:28 AM IST

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