Defence Secretary: Britain must ‘step up’ and deal with North Korea nuclear threat

Posted On: 
19th December 2017

The UK must “step up” and deal with the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear capability, Gavin Williamson has warned.   

Gavin Williamson was appointed Defence Secretary when Michael Fallon stood down last month

The Defence Secretary told the Evening Standard the rogue state posed a “real danger” and was developing weapons that could strike London.

He said: “North Korea is a massive threat. They are a real danger to this country. They are currently on the pathway to have ballistic missiles that could strike London.

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“This is not just a problem for the United States. This is a global problem. Britain has to step up in terms of dealing with it.

“There are threats emerging right around the world. Britain is a global player, it’s a world player. We will never hesitate to deal with aggression and threats.”

The pledge comes as two Royal Navy warships head out to join operations with the American fleet based in the region.

It also comes just hours after US President Donald Trump branded North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “nuclear menace”.

Asked whether Britain was preparing to join the US in taking on the threat, the Mr Williamson said: “We are always planning for the worst and hoping for the best. We are working with all our allies in the region to make sure that we continue to put pressure on North Korea.

“We’ve got HMS Argyll, HMS Sutherland going to the region to do operations with our allies.”

Mr Williamson has made waves since joining the Cabinet last month, with reports suggesting he has antagonised Chancellor Philip Hammond by lobbying for planned defence cuts to be reversed.  

The pair were rumoured to have clashed in the Commons over the issue, forcing Theresa May to intervene.