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State Dept Contradicts Intel Chief on Whether N. Korea Denuclearizing Is a ‘Lost Cause’

• October 25, 2016 4:19 pm

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State Department spokesman John Kirby contradicted National Intelligence Director James Clapper on Tuesday after the latter called the prospect of North Korea denuclearizing a "lost cause."

Kirby said at the State Department daily press briefing that Clapper's view is not the assessment of the Obama administration.

Clapper said Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations that the best the United States could hope for is capping the number of nuclear weapons the North Korean regime has while arguing the U.S. effort to get Pyongyang to give up its arsenal "is probably a lost cause."

When asked if the State Department shared Clapper's view, Kirby said it is still the goal of the United States to have North Korea give up its nuclear weapons and for it to be verifiable. Kirby was also asked if this was the official view of the Obama administration.

"Nothing has changed about our policy with respect to the North and that we want to continue to see a verifiable denuclearization of the peninsula," Kirby said.

"Our policy with respect to North Korea's provocations and the resolve of the United States and the international community to try to put adequate pressure on them to change their behavior has not changed and remains the same," Kirby continued.

When pressured by reporters as to whether the administration realistically expects to get North Korea to change its stance, Kirby said the United States continues to want to see the North denuclearize.

Kirby said that he had not seen Clapper's comments himself and could not speak to what the nation's intelligence chief said.