North Korea threatens Britain with ‘miserable end’ if it joins with US forces
Britain “faces a miserable end” if it takes part in US and South Korean military exercises, North Korea has warned, as tensions over the rogue state’s nuclear weapons continue to rise.
The Ulchi Freedom Guardian drills began on Monday and run until the end of the month. Britain is not currently taking part in the military drills.
Seoul and Washington say the exercises are an opportunity for the allies to improve their defensive capabilities, but Pyongyang routinely denounces them as a dress rehearsal for war against North Korea.
In a statement, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency denounced Washington and Seoul as “warmongers” and said the drills are proof of their intention to invade. It also branded its enemies as “war maniacs” and “dull immature infants.”
“The reality vividly shows that the US ambition for stifling the DPRK [North Korea] remains unchanged no matter how much water may flow under the bridge and the puppet group’s ambition for invading the North remains unchanged,” it said.
“We solemnly warn not only the US and puppet group, but also satellites, including the UK and Australia, which are taking advantage of the present war maneuvers against the north, that they would face a miserable end if they join in play with fire by tiger moths of war.”
The state-run media outlet dismissed South Korea’s insistence that the annual exercises are merely defensive, claiming: “Formations of strategic bombers loaded with nuclear bombs are always ready for sorties.”
Meanwhile, an editorial in the North Korean Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the joint military exercise is “the most explicit expression of hostility against us, and no one can guarantee that the exercise won’t evolve into actual fighting.”
It added that the exercise was like “pouring gasoline on fire and worsening the state of the [Korean] peninsula.”
Washington and Pyongyang have traded a series of threats since Kim Jong-un’s hermit regime announced it is now capable of striking US territory with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) carrying a nuclear warhead.
US President Donald Trump responded by promising “fire and fury” and warned his military is “locked and loaded.”
Britain, America’s top European ally, could formally refuse Trump’s call for help in waging a war against North Korea, as long as Kim does not strike Hawaii or the US mainland.
The UK’s membership of NATO does not automatically oblige it to participate in a conflict between the US and North Korea, even if the latter attacks military bases in the Pacific.
Although Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty states that an attack on one NATO member is an act of aggression against the entire military alliance, the application of this provision is limited only to attacks on member states’ territories in North America, Europe and the Atlantic.
Consequently, if Kim’s warheads strike US military bases in the Pacific, the US could ask for Britain’s assistance, but cannot formally compel the UK and other NATO allies to join the military efforts against North Korea.