Go to contents

[Focus] CIA chief`s testimony on security threat

Posted February. 09, 2001 21:11,   


In his testimony before the U.S Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, George Tenet, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), elaborated on the areas and factors posing a security threat to the United States. The military power of North Korea was listed as one of them.

Tenet`s view that North Korea is still a threatening state seems to represent the conservative perception of North Korea shared by many of the ranking officials of the Bush administration. The U.S. intelligence chief said Pyongyang has done little to mitigate the military threat to South Korea and the United States in spite of its bold diplomatic outreach to the international community and South Korea.

Being the fifth strongest military power in the world with 1 million troops on active duty and 5 million reservists, North Korea consistently follows a policy of pursuing military superiority, making massive investments in military buildup at the expense of all other objectives, according to Tenet. He added that North Korea`s continued development of long-range missiles threatens the United States and that its increasing stockpile of short- and medium-range missiles puts the United States and its allies in danger.

The CIA director enumerated as major elements threatening to American interests the following three: proliferation of missile technology, terrorism and narcotics. He cited Russia, China and North Korea as the three most dangerous exporters of missile technology, expressing fears that the United States is being exposed to a rising level of ballistic missiles. He accused Russian military industries of earning hard currency by selling missile technology abroad – supplying ballistic missile technology to Iran, India, China and Libya.

Increased exports of missile technology to Pakistan, Iran, Libya and North Korea in recent years placed China on the "watch list," he said. He cited support of international terrorism among the chief concerns of the United States. Tenet named Osama bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi Arabian terrorist now hiding in Afghanistan, as the greatest threat to the United States.