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CIA director: North Korea "handful of months" away from being able to attack U.S.

Mike Pompeo
CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

In his first network interview as CIA director, Mike Pompeo discussed the escalating threat from North Korea, stating that leader Kim Jong-un is only "a handful of months" away from delivering an attack on the territorial U.S.

"We'll never know the exact nature of what's taking place. We'll never know the exact moment that they're going to continue [to detonate another nuclear bomb]... But the core risk ... [is that] North Korea's nuclear weapons program is continuing to expand, advance, become more powerful, more capable, more reliable."
— Pompeo to CBS' Norah O'Donnell

O'Donnell noted that more than six months ago, Pompeo used the same language he is using now — that North Korea is only "a handful of months" away from being able to hit the U.S.

"It's true," said Pompeo. "I hope to be able to say it a year from now as well. … The United States government is working diligently to extend that timeline."

Editor's Note: This headline has been corrected to add "from being able" to the headline. The editor regrets his error.

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