Washington, Oct 3 : CIA Director Michael Hayden has said that The fragile state of North Korea and the booming, oil-rich trio of Iran, Venezuela and Russia have grown increasingly aggressive and pose some of the greatest security challenges for the next US President.
Hayden told FOX News that weakness and poverty have made North Korea more aggressive as it threatens to restart work on its nuclear weapons programme.
"This is a country in very, very desperate straits. But out of this weakness, out of this very fragility, there's this danger of great chaos; they seem to have a knack for using that very fragility to the best of their ability to affect the nations around them - ourselves included," he said.
In September, North Korea removed seals placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear reactor in Yongbyon and announced its intention to rebuild facilities there after publicly destroying the reactor's cooling tower in June.
Hayden spoke cautiously about whether North Korea was making a political maneuver or genuine moving toward reconstituting its nuclear program, which has brought heavy international sanctions upon it.
"It depends on whether this is political and diplomatic theater, or [if it is] really intent on restarting the program," he said.
While the increasingly fragile status of impoverished North Korea renders it a special threat, the flood of petrodollars coming from the so-called "Axis of Oil" - Iran, Venezuela and Russia - poses another threat to American security.
Russia's invasion of Georgian territory in August and Iran's continued work on acquiring nuclear weapons only compound the threat, he said.
Iran, far more than North Korea, continues work on its nuclear program, which the US Government fears will lead it to acquiring a nuclear bomb sometime in the near future.
Hayden hopes that US Intelligence will be able to provide the next administration with the tools it needs to face up to the nuclear threat from North Korea and elsewhere.