CIA establishes Mission Center to counter North Korea


PUBLISHED Wed, May 10, 2017 - 4:47pm EDT
Credit: CIA


The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has established a Mission Center to target North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, the agency announced Wednesday, less than a week after North Korea accused the CIA of a plot to kill Kim Jong Un. (more)





The center was established to harness the CIA's full resources, capabilities, and authorities to respond to North Korea. It will draw on experienced officers from across the CIA and integrates them in one entity to "bring their expertise and creativity to bear against the North Korea target," the agency said.

A veteran CIA operations officer has been selected as the new Assistant Director for Korea and will preside over the Korea Mission Center, the agency said. The name of the officer was not immediately disclosed.

"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," CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "It also reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges."

The CIA now has a total of 11 Mission Centers, 6 of which target geographic locations and 5 which involve functional areas, such as Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, Weapons and Counterproliferation, and Global Issues.

Wednesday's announcement comes after weeks of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula, fueled by North Korea's missile tests and its advancing nuclear weapons program, as well as U.S. military exercises and statements by U.S. President Donald Trump.

On Friday, North Korea accused the CIA and South Korea's intelligence agency (NIS) of plotting to assassinate leader Kim Jong Un. It claimed that the CIA and NIS had recruited a North Korean worker in Russia as part of a plot to carry out attacks against the country's leadership.





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