DPRK poses "potentially existential threat": USA intelligence chief

US intelligence

US intelligence director warns of more Russian cyberthreats

"The intelligence suggests we're going to need more to shake free this terribly challenging problem".

"They will be spurred on by terrorist groups' public calls to carry out attacks in the West", said the assessment.

But it has been on the rebound, Coates said, and continues to gain strength.

However, Coats refused to reveal the US intelligence community's estimation about when the DPRK would have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of taking a nuclear warhead.

His comments came as Trump is set to receive Pentagon reccomendations this week on potential options in Afghanistan.

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North Korea's missile tests in 2016, including a space launch that put a satellite into orbit, have shortened its pathway toward a reliable intercontinental missile that could strike the USA, he said, and the North has expanded the size and sophistication of its ballistic missile forces.

Iran continues to perform key research and development on nuclear missile capabilities despite the landmark nuclear agreement with Western powers, according to the last US intelligence assessments. He recommended that US forces train with Afghan forces down the chain of command to the corps level, and that the Afghan security forces learn to make better use of intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) and air support.

According to Defense One, Coats spoke to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and talked about the growing number of threats facing the homeland and potentially shrinking the agencies that handle them.

On Afghanistan, Coats said the situation "will very likely continue to deteriorate, even if worldwide support is sustained". Iran has long used its space program as cover for illicit missile work, as the know-how needed to launch such equipment can be applied to long-range ballistic missile technology.

The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, warned that North Korean risks still remain and the threat is very real.

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The DPRK said early this month that the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula is the most unsafe in half a century since the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The deal lengthens the time it would take Iran to develop enough material for a nuclear weapon "from a few months to about a year", he said.

The report also notes that Iran's progress in its space program could expedite its path to an ICBM since space launch vehicles use similar technologies.

Stewart later said that Iran sees itself as the "dominant regional power", a position that might later put it in conflict with Russian Federation if their interest diverge from supporting Assad.

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