Boris Johnson: Trump has an ‘absolute duty’ to defend US against North Korea nuclear attack

Posted On: 
23rd October 2017

Donald Trump has an “absolute duty” to defend America against a nuclear attack from North Korea, Boris Johnson will say in a speech today.  

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
PA Images

Speaking at Chatham House, the Foreign Secretary will also attribute the curbing of nuclear weapon technology to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and will claim it is the “the job of our generation” to preserve these achievements . 

Mr Johnson will also praise the Iran nuclear deal, something Mr Trump has repeatedly repeatedly criticised. 

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He will tell Chatham House: "I am afraid that the US President – whoever he or she might be – will have an absolute duty to prepare any option to keep safe not only the American people but all those who have sheltered under the American nuclear umbrella."

“A new generation has grown up with no memory of the threat of a nuclear winter, and little education in the appalling logic of mutually assured destruction. The memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is now literally fading from living memory.  

“The NPT is one of the great diplomatic achievements of the last century. It has stood the test of time. It is the job of our generation to preserve that agreement, and British diplomacy will be at the forefront of the endeavour.”

He will add during the keynote speech: "It has helped avoid what might otherwise have been a Gadarene Rush to destruction, in which the world was turned into a great arena of Mexican stand-offs, a nuclear version of the final scene of Reservoir Dogs.

"That far-sightedness is now needed more than ever, not only to keep the NPT, but also one of its most valuable complementary accords, the nuclear deal with Iran.

"That is the model - of toughness but engagement, each reinforcing the other - that we should have at the front of our mind as we try to resolve the tensions in the Korean peninsula.”

Mr Johnson will also single out Rex Tillerson, US Secretary of State, for attempting to open a dialogue with Kim Jong Un. 

Mr Trump has previously attacked Mr Tillerson for the move, saying it was a “waste of time”.

But Mr Johnson will say today: "It is right that Rex Tillerson has specifically opened the door to dialogue. He has tried to give some sensible reassurances to the regime, to enable them to take up this offer."