The crisis on the Korean Peninsula is bringing the region closer to open military conflict than it’s been for many years, with unimaginable humanitarian consequences. By accident or design, the actions by North Korea and the United States could result in a nuclear detonation.
The war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, reflects escalating provocations on both sides.
On 7 July the UN adopted the first-ever, legally-binding Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The UK boycotted the UN’s global nuclear ban negotiations. Britain greeted the treaty’s adoption with a statement signed jointly with the US and France, declaring: ‘We do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.’
A month later, President Trump was threatening ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’.
Did you know that despite heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean Peninsula Britain will be participating in US-led military exercises there for 10 days beginning Monday 21 August? These war games are a simulation of war with North Korea which involves around 85,000 land, sea and air personnel.
The government is keeping shtum about UK involvement – how many British forces and from which services will be taking part. But in the House of Lords in January, however, Defence Minister Earl Howe confirmed that the UK does take part in these exercises.
Jeremy Corbyn has urged the government to refrain from military intervention in North Korea, including the forthcoming Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises.