South Korea's foreign minister told Reuters at Davos last week that North Korea must make concrete pledges toward curbing its nuclear weapons program, such as dismantling its main nuclear complex and allowing worldwide inspections to confirm the process, when leader Kim meets Trump as soon as next month.
More broadly, the intelligence report on which Coats based his testimony predicted that security threats to the United States and its allies this year will expand and diversify, driven in part by China and Russian Federation.
Weeks before Trump plans a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the United States intelligence community believes it unlikely that Pyongyang will agree to completely denuclearize.
"Kim has also sought to align the region against the US-led pressure campaign in order to gain incremental sanctions relief, and North Korean statements have repeatedly indicated that some sanctions relief is necessary for additional diplomacy to occur", the report said.
In their annual report on security challenges to the country, the country's top spies also challenged Trump's claim that Tehran is actively seeking nuclear weapons, the justification Trump gave for withdrawing past year from a multilateral treaty on Iran.
"China and Russian Federation are more aligned than at any point since the mid-1950s, and the relationship is likely to strengthen in the coming year as some of their interests and threat perceptions converge, particularly regarding perceived U.S. unilateralism and interventionism and Western promotion of democratic values and human rights", the assessment says.
On Russia, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden asked whether US intelligence agencies are at a disadvantage if they don't know what Trump discussed with President Vladimir Putin in a one-on-one meeting at their summit in Helsinki previous year. The paper also said in an editorial last week that the principle "reflects the requirement of the times and developing reality most correctly". Coats pointed out that Beijing has the capacity and desire to go after American targets for not only diplomatic and military information, but also for attacks on infrastructure and private-sector business.
The intelligence assessment of Afghanistan, more than 17 years into a conflict that began after the 9/11 attacks on the USA, projected a continued military stalemate.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, the report stresses that the so-called Islamic State group (IS) is not yet defeated, despite the Trump administration's claims to the contrary. Without mentioning prospects for a peace deal, which appear to have improved only in recent days, the report said, "neither the Afghan government nor the Taliban will be able to gain a strategic military advantage in the Afghan war in the coming year" if the USA maintains its current levels of support.
Though social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google failed to recognize and respond to Russian efforts in the 2016 election, since then the companies have been more cooperative and willing to act on tips shared by US intelligence agencies, FBI Director Christopher Wray told the lawmakers.
"Russia's social media efforts will continue to focus on aggravating social and racial tensions, undermining trust in authorities, and criticizing perceived anti-Russia politicians", it said. Ron Wyden, a Democrat, asked whether Trump's not releasing records of his discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin put USA intelligence agencies at a disadvantage. Trump has ordered a partial pullback of US forces this year, although no firm plan is in place.