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CIA opens Korea Mission Center to handle N.K. nuke weapons

CIA opens Korea Mission Center to handle N.K. nuke weapons

Posted May. 12, 2017 07:15,   

Updated May. 12, 2017 07:21


The Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S. has opened a Korea Mission Center, a special unit in charge of dealing with North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, the U.S. media reported on Wednesday (local time). The Donald Trump administration, which has used hardline measures and sent overtures alternatively, is thus effectively resorting to stick in lieu of carrot this time around.

The CIA has been operating 10 cross-cutting mission centers that go beyond the boundary of individual units to cope with imperative security crises since October 2015, but it is the first time that the U.S. spy agency is establishing a mission center exclusively responsible for a certain country. Analysts say that the measure is Washington’s expression‎ of commitment to focus on North Korean issues that have emerged as one of the biggest threats to the U.S. The CIA is operating the East Asia Pacific Mission Center, and the Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation & Arms Control Center that deals with issues relating to nuclear weapons.

“Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” said CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

CIA spokesman Jonathan Lieu said that since threats posed to the U.S. are lingering, the CIA should evolve as well. The CIA has deployed a number of experienced agents to the center and named an unidentified veteran official as the head of the unit.

“It is a sign that okay folks, we’re going to get serious about this (collection of intelligence on North Korea). I think (cooperation with the South Korean National Intelligence Service) will be very high,” John Nixon, former senior analyst at the CIA, told CNN on the establishment of the Korea Mission Center. He also added that chances are high that the U.S. intelligence agency will strengthen its Seoul branch including deployment of high profile figures to South Korea.

Gi-Jae Han record@donga.com