Stability in the Korean peninsula appears to be at stake with war clouds gathering in the sky. CIA Director Mike Pompeo has indicated that North Korea is continuing its missile programs in spite of global condemnation. Under the circumstances, the United States may have no option but to engage in direct confrontation with the country.

The CIA director was speaking at a security forum held by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies where he said that Pyongyang has made several claims, and the US must accept them at face value and prepare accordingly.

He has also said that a direct conflict could be on the cards because President Donald Trump wants America to take suitable action to thwart the designs of North Korea.

The scenario is grim

CNN reports that the CIA director is one of the officials who feels that the existing scenario is grim, and a military confrontation with North Korea could be inevitable. National security adviser H.R. McMaster was also present. He clarified that the President was not in favor of a nuclear powered Pyongyang, and added that the strategy is known to both China and Russia.

The adamant attitude of North Korea, and its refusal to put on hold the nuclear missile programs are not acceptable to the United States. Incidentally, former CIA Director John Brennan had also hinted about a possible military conflict with the country.

It may be recalled that North Korea had conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September. It claimed that it was of a hydrogen bomb that could be installed on a missile. Pyongyang was simultaneously working to improve the performance of its missiles. It conducted as many as 15 tests in total defiance of sanctions, identified a few probable targets including the East Coast, and sent two missiles flying over Japan which is an ally of the U.S.

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These are treated as acts of provocation and must be tackled accordingly.

Possible fallout of a military engagement

A direct confrontation between the United States and North Korea would lead to large scale loss of lives, and the sequence of events point to the gradual emergence of such a situation. It is strange that, in spite of knowing the consequences of a nuclear war, there is no apparent urge to seek a peaceful solution.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has tried to bring international pressure to bear on North Korea. As a result, some countries have severed diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, and taken other actions to express their feelings. However, the stands taken by the two leaders appear to be rigid ones which could spell trouble.

In the opinion of former CIA Director John Brennan, the prospects of a military conflict in the region is at an all-time high. His prediction is that missiles would play an important role in the direct and retaliatory strikes which could lead to a gradual escalation in casualties. He has also cautioned that the cyber capabilities of North Korea are of a high order which must be borne in mind by those who draw up the strategy.