‘Absolute duty’ to prepare for war with N. Korea, Johnson warns Trump
Boris Johnson is set to deliver a warning to the US that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is on the verge of being able to “make good his threat” and launch missiles at mainland America.
Trump, who has repeatedly insisted the US will “deal with” Pyongyang, and has increased military presence in South Korea, said this weekend his nation is “totally prepared” for war with North Korea.
Military intervention could spark a huge war as China has claimed it would back Pyongyang if an invasion was ordered by Washington, unless it was reacting to a strike.
Speaking at the annual Chatham House conference in London, Johnson will say Trump must act.
“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,” he is set to say.
There are current channels of communication between Pyongyang and Washington, according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who will be praised by his British counterpart.
However, Johnson will call on Trump to change his mind about nuclear programs elsewhere in the world.
Trump has repeatedly threatened to pull the plug on the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – co-signed by the UK, US, China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran.
But Britain is calling for Trump to stand by it, or face a backlash from Iran, which scaled down its advancing nuclear program under the deal.
“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,” Johnson will say.
“The NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] 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 endeavor.”
Johnson claims firearms and fighter jets have “spread among humanity like impetigo” yet nuclear weapons have been held at bay because of deals like the JCPOA.
Reversing it, he claims, will almost certainly lead to future problems.
“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 [the film] ‘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.”
Diplomacy, Johnson will say, can ensure nuclear war is avoided. He will use the 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to argue his point.