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CIA sets up centre to address N.Korea issues

Washington: The CIA has established a Korea Mission Centre to address “the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by” North Korea and its “unpredictable” leader Kim Jong-un, the US agency revealed in a statement.

The creation of the centre focusing on specific threats, will allow the Central Intelligence Agency to “harness the full resources, capabilities, and authorities” to deal with North Korea, CNN quoted the statement as saying late Wednesday.

The centre will put together CIA analysts and officers side by side in one location to tackle the threat from Pyongyang.

“The new Mission Centre draws on experienced officers from across the Agency and integrates them in one entity to bring their expertise and creativity to bear against the North Korea target,” the statement said.

Former CIA senior analyst John Nixon told CNN he expected the centre to issue “sitreps” — situation reports — for the intelligence community and President Donald Trump’s administration, possibly twice daily, indicating a round-the-clock watch by an office of significant size.

In the statement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said the creation of the centre focuses the CIA’s efforts against the “serious threats” emerging from North Korea, which has ramped up both nuclear and missile tests in an effort to enhance its military capabilities.

There are 10 such existing centres in the CIA, and the new addition will be the most focused in terms of geographical area and remit — the Korean Peninsula currently falls under the jurisdiction of the Mission Centre for East Asia and Pacific.