CIA director Pompeo says U.S. effort to block shipments to North Korea ‘inadequate’

The director of the CIA says that the American effort to block vital international commerce from reaching North Korea is not sufficient, thereby hampering Washington’s sanctions efforts.

“We’re not quite where we need to be,” Mike Pompeo said at an event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

“Our mission is not complete, but we have officers all around the world working diligently to make sure that we do everything we can to support the U.S. pressure campaign and to tighten sanctions in such a way that we have the opportunity to prevail and to achieve the president’s mission, which is denuclearization of the peninsula,” he added.

Various reports have said that U.S. intelligence has picked up goods transfers at sea in international waters between North Korean cargo ships and vessels belonging to Russian and Chinese state interests.

Also, U.S. intelligence has tracked at least a half-dozen Chinese ships that have docked at North Korean ports, and then transported illicit cargo to Russia and Vietnam in violation of United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang.

Choking off revenue to North Korea is considered vital to the Trump administration’s efforts to prevent Pyongyang from building a functioning nuclear weapons capability that the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies believe would be used for other purposes besides protection of the Kim regime. [source]

(Analyst comment: We have much more on this and Pompeo’s observations regarding North Korea and Kim Jong-un’s nuclear intentions in this week’s Strategic Intelligence Summary, due out on Jan. 25. Subscribe here.)

The Forward Observer Watchfloor provides a brief synopsis and summary of breaking and developing news and events. For additional information and expert analysis from intelligence and special operations professionals, subscribe to Strategic Intelligence or National Intelligence.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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