North Korea has demanded that the United Kingdom pull out of an upcoming military exercise in South Korea, describing the exercise as a “hostile act”.
This comes as South Korea, the United States and Britain are gearing up for their first joint military exercise aimed at countering North Korea in November.
North Korean Foreign Ministry official Pak Yun Sik said:
“This is a hostile act, openly joining the US and South Korean forces in moves for a new war against us.
Britain claims that this military exercise is not targeting us, but the US and South Korea openly say that these military exercises are aimed at launching a strike against our military facilities and our command structure.”
The South Korean exercise is designed to counter the rising threats from North Korea’s intensified nuclear and missile tests, according to local media.
The South Korean Air Force said in a statement that the exercise will be conducted between the 4th and 10th of November at Osan Air Base and will involve a combined aerial exercise, “the first of its kind” the statement added.
Britain is planning to send four Typhoon jets, a Voyager tanker aircraft and C-17, C-130 transport aircraft to take part in the exercise.
South Korea will deploy F-15K and KF-16 fighters and the US will send F-16 fighters, the statement added.
Exercise Eastern Venture, what the RAF are calling the deployment, begins with Typhoon aircraft deploying from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland to Malaysia and Singapore, for training as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement between the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
British Typhoon combat aircraft are also heading to Japan to join the first-ever UK-Japan joint fighter exercise.
Four Typhoons from No. 2 (AC) Squadron will be visiting Japan with Voyager and C-17 aircraft. The JASDF will be participating with F-2 and F-15 fighter aircraft.
According to a press release, the Chief of Staff of the Japanese Air Self Defence Force, General Yoshiyuki Sugiyama, announced that the first-ever UK-Japan Fighter Exercise would be hosted at JASDF Misawa Air Base from mid-October to early November.
This is the first time the JASDF has hosted an exercise with a foreign nation other than the United States.
The exercise will be aimed at enhancing interoperability to deepen the UK and Japan’s partnership in security and defence.
Chief of the Air Staff Sir Stephen Hillier said:
“This exercise is tremendously important and it demonstrates that even though the Royal Air Force is committed to operations in the Middle East and elsewhere.
We still have the capability to deploy effectively to the other side of the world, with both Typhoons, supporting Voyagers and air transport, and the Red Arrows as well. This reinforces the message that the UK is a globally-engaged player with global power, reinforcing our relationship with allies, and also promoting UK prosperity.”