NKorea months from perfecting nuclear capabilities — Central Intelligence Agency head

"I hope they'll take this opportunity to demonstrate that they truly are going to be globally important players in reducing a global threat like Kim Jong Un presents with his nuclear weapons system, and the behaviors we've seen have been good, " Pompeo said at a conference of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Pompeo also underscored President Donald Trump's intent to push back against North Korea's nuclear ambitions, saying Pyongyang is months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities.

Pompeo said there's difficulty in gathering intelligence in North Korea's closed society, but "from a USA policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective, " he said.

North Korea, which started its nuclear program decades ago, has accelerated its weapons tests. In July, it twice launched a long-range missile that could potentially reach the USA mainland.

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In a speech of more than three hours on Wednesday, Xi laid out a sweeping vision to transform China into a strong global power while guaranteeing the primacy of Communist Party rule - and his own leadership.

With tough worldwide sanctions now in place, Pompeo said China has done more than expected to reduce trade with its wayward ally but can do more.

"We all want to resolve this without" resorting to military activity, the Central Intelligence Agency chief said, but added President Donald Trump is prepared to use force if necessary to ensure Kim "doesn't have the capacity to hold America at risk".

While China has communicated to the world that it's "intent" on helping the USA resolve the North Korea crisis without resorting to military action, Pompeo said the U.S.is willing to take military steps if no other option remains.

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Dire threats traded by Trump and Kim have further stoked fears of war.

"I don't think it's likely or probable, but if it's a 1-in-4 or 1-in-5 chance, that's too high", Brennan said at Fordham University in NY.

McMaster said China has the vast majority of economic power over North Korea, controlling 90 percent of its external trade, but Russian Federation has considerable influence too.

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