The United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea have signed a new Accord to jointly enforce sanctions against North Korea, focusing on halting its illegal weapons programme.

This agreement, part of the Downing Street Accord, is set to be formalised by UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol during President Yoon’s state visit to the UK.

Marking the 140th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the UK and the ROK, this Accord includes a defence agreement, a first of its kind, enabling both nations to enforce United Nations Security Council sanctions on North Korea.

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated, “The UK is leading the way in supporting our Korean friends in countering North Korea’s aggressive posturing and ensuring the safety and security of the Indo-Pacific. Deepening the ties between the Royal Navy and Republic of Korea Navy, our bilateral defence relationship has never been stronger.”

Foreign Secretary David Cameron emphasised the enduring trust and respect between the two nations, underscoring the UK’s dedication to democracy in the region. He remarked, “This agreement – signed 70 years after the Korean War Armistice – is a truly unique step in the strengthening of our work to secure the security of the Korean Peninsula and the region. We are proud, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to be at the forefront of international sanctions enforcement activity.”

The Accord encompasses plans for expanded security and defence cooperation, a Strategic Cyber Partnership to combat cyber threats, and a joint Ministerial Statement Of Intent for a new Defence Partnership for Industrial and Capability Cooperation.

You can read more about this by clicking here.

Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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maurice10
maurice10
5 days ago

The future has begun, the inevitable expansion of RN operations in the Far East. Over the next couple of decades, the main emphasis of RN commitments will be focused on these waters, unless there is a key change in China’s naval expansion plans. All that is required is an acknowledgement from the Government that more ships will be required.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

Lots of lovely papers and agreements but an ever shrinking forces to undertake them. It’s totally baffling to me that the government keeps agreeing to stuff while not expanded the forces required to meet these expectations. This will only lead to disappointment from the countries that thought the U.K. was going to help. The forces do a fantastic job with what they have but 16 escorts can only do so much. With roughly 5-6 available at anytime. 2 for each carrier, 1 in the gulf, 1 for U.K. waters, 1 for each LRG. So that’s 8. Without a doubling in… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

I agree MS, and it’s the same for all the services. CH2 deployments appear to be many and with the prospect of just 148 CH3 the effort can only be a token at best. Typhoon is also in great demand flying here there and everywhere. If the UK is going to be taken seriously in international affairs it must back that up with meaningful numbers. In truth, we can only do it through greater interoperability with fellow NATO members and allies.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

We are taken seriously on the international stage. Be it deploying forces around the globe or providing weapons and support to the Ukraine/Israel ect. Still supporting Op Shader over Syria and Iraq We are second only to the US in hard and soft power. Numbers are In short supply. But our capability and commitment is not. I don’t see any other nation doing we can do outside of the US.

klonkie
klonkie
2 days ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Well said Robert!

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
1 day ago
Reply to  klonkie

Cheers pal 👍

Louis
Louis
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

There are usually always more than 5-6 available escorts. 9/10 currently for example. The Gulf frigate shouldn’t be counted anyway because it goes through maintenance cycles and isn’t available all the time.
The UK needs TAPS and FRE constantly covered, but FRE can be covered by a ship alongside. A ship forward deployed in the pacific would be knocking 1 off the total number of escorts rather than knocking 1 off the number of available escorts at any one time.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

A defence agreement like this doesn’t mean an escort is going to be in that part of the world on a regular basis or an additional tasking. Just as a Korean escort isn’t going to be heading up the English Channel anytime soon. POW is heading to that part of the world in 2025. Maybe Korean personnel will be undertaking training at Dartmouth. Closer industrial and technology sharing ect. RAF Typhoons recently deployed to Japan. They also operate F35, so maybe interoperability training will twje place. We can send far more East then they can deploy to our neck of… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
4 days ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Concur. These agreements make for good photo ops for politicians and diplomats, but often amount little in practice and are forgotten within a few years (or months!). I assume that an OPV will now visit South Korea and CSG25 (if it happens) will conduct a day or two of exercises with ROK Navy. The later being partially a sales pitch to sell a variant of the QEC design to South Korea for their CVX carrier project.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
5 days ago
Reply to  maurice10

And some ships to do it

PaulW
PaulW
5 days ago

Better start building more ships then. A fleet of about 40 frigates and destroyers should do. Another carrier, and double the submarine force. And make sure Diego Garcia is kept operational.

Last edited 5 days ago by PaulW
Andy reeves
Andy reeves
5 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Need to get another place to build them.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Bravo. People deride such comments but those force levels are entirely reasonable and within the bounds of possibility if there was just an ounce of political will to do something other then the absolute minimum.

maurice10
maurice10
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Understandably, social payments come first then the rest is mean pickings. Unless the enemy is just across the Channel then the old mindsets remain. Defence is still a small player around the Cabinet table in times of peace, though admittedly, Ukraine did stir things up a bit but not enough to change the paradigm.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

So what government departments would you use that political will to spend a lot less on to fund that kind of fleet at todays prices and inflation and economic difficulties? Or would you add billions to the national debt? Or raise taxes? And don’t say the foreign aid budget because that wouldn’t scratch the surface. And do you think that would be a vote winner at a general election?

Last edited 4 days ago by Robert Blay
Ryan
Ryan
2 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Maybe sort current manning issues before nearly tripling the surface fleet? 40 escorts are no use if less than half can be fully crewed.

Peter S
Peter S
5 days ago

There isn’t any specific commitment to a bigger naval presence but rather more emphasis on future industrial and cyber cooperation.
I don’t see how, with the number of surface warships declining until the end of the decade, anything beyond a single OPV or later perhaps a T31 will be possible.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Yep ££££

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Forget about T32get the type 31 order doubled or a fully military spec batch 3 river corvette, or a batch2 type 45

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
5 days ago

They’re building new warships at quite a pace too!

The KDX III Batch II program calls for three Aegis destroyers to be built. The lead ship is scheduled to be delivered to the ROK Navy in November 2024.

All three ‘Jeongjo the Great’ class Aegis destroyers are planned to be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), and the second ship, which has a steel cutting ceremony on July 4, 2023, is scheduled to be delivered to the ROK Navy in 2026.

LINK

Pacman27
Pacman27
5 days ago

Yet another commitment without additional equipment, funding or manpower

its ridiculous, do any of these people have family serving…

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
5 days ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I’m doubtful that most in government actually have a clue what the numbers are(unless it’s new numbers used in sound bites) and what it takes to deploy ships to far away locations.

Challenger
Challenger
5 days ago

Politicians once again writing cheques the Royal Navy can’t cash! Manpower rapidly declining, T23’s increasingly worn out and only enough future frigates funded to keep numbers static.

Amusing to see a pic of a T45 at the top when we all know we can provide Tamar or Spey (with little-no aerial surveillance capabilities) on a short term basis at best!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago

Oh God here we go again ! I’ll get to read all the overblown interpretations of this as a massive pivot to SE Asia and the need to double the RN with a Fantasy fleet (yep we all know we need an increase and anything we get will be a blessing). Now get real ! The ROK President is in Town for a state visit and King Charles has probably asked HMG for a comedy act so that the ROK President doesn’t get the Karoke machine out. And we have to make statements about something or other, otherwise it’s just… Read more »

Mark
Mark
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I thought the carrier plan had got killed off with their latest naval plan?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Not sure as they keep changing their minds. But they do now have a very credible Navy, it’s a shame they have Historic issues with Japan. Combined they would be very formidable alies.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

This year ROK and Japan have resumed naval cooperation, though, in recognition of the increased Chinese & DPRK threat. Worth monitoring how realpolitik pans out, with US as Uncle Sam to them both.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

FormerUSAF not ex (sorry Beer last night).

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Also generally answer to ‘hey, Yank’ or occasionally, ‘hey, you.’ 😁

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I was thinking of FUSAF but that could be misinterpreted 🥴

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

🤣😂😁

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The RN will no doubt be sending a Carrier group to the Indo Pacific on semi regular basis moving forward, for flag waving and bilateral exercises with Western Pacific Rim nations, probably encompassing no more that a QE, one T26, one T45 and possibly an SSN, (though that’s doubtful with current numbers) and a single RFA. That’s entirely doable and I would say necessary as we start to train and cooperate closely with Australia, Japan and South Korea. Cross decking training will be extremely beneficial for the three flat top, F35B operators. When the hard working surviving T23’s have finally… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
5 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Would anticipate a RN SSN would accompany a RN CSG when it is deployed to Indo-Pacific, certainly w/in SCS. Current RN plans include a ‘semi- permanent’ deployment of an Astute class to HMAS Stirling, post 2027. Logistically, quite convenient. Almost as though the blokes down at the Admiralty were engaged in joined-up, forward planning…🤔😉

John Clark
John Clark
5 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Hi mate, I know that’s an aspiration, but with around 4 boats (or indeed less) operational at any one time, there just isn’t the capacity for anything but the occasional visit.

If the RN still had 12 SSN’s, with 7/8 operational then that would be quite doable.

Louis
Louis
4 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

An Astute forward deployed in Australia would work similar to the T23 in the Gulf in that it goes through its own maintenance cycle so isn’t available all the time.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Join up thinking Never going to happen

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
5 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

I think that an SSN with CSG is a pretty well guaranteed tasking. Just because all our 6 boats were tied up at the same time doesn’t mean they are not deployable. As all of them have either a full life PWR2 H core (Astutes) or are very close to depletion and OOS (Triumph). You don’t waste reactor load time as it’s finite, so No immediate Tasking equates to No need to be at Sea. And as the world is a bit more dangerous at present I wouldn’t any resource at all, not unless you need it. If I were… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

No no no you have got to have the whole fleet at sea! I mean heaven forbid the crews need leave etc. get them out steaming about wearing out the ships and subs quicker🙄

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I would certainty question as to whether 6 boats are actually operational, (short of general war), I would think no more than 4 are actually ‘mission’ deployable at any one time, the rest in various stages of post deployment maintenance, or working up again. I would love that number to be higher, but we all know that with such a limited number of such hugely complex and sophisticated boats available, keeping ahead of the maintenance and no doubt, constant systems updates and upgrades, will be a massive task. Letting our SSN force drop below 12 boats was a massive mistake,… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

They might even bring some aircraft too

Deep32
Deep32
5 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I would hazard a guess and say that we will be fwd deploying a T31 into those waters sometime by the tern of this decade. Believe that that was always the intention. Although not sure if it’s as a direct replacement for our OPV or in addition?

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

I really don’t see the point, the RN is so small, sending a lone Frigate to the Indo Pacific region really does absolutely sod all, the only thing it will accomplish is putting further strain on generating the required escorts for tasking. The only way its possible is If we have an RN base in Oman, with assets rotating into the Indo Pacific. I think it would be the perfect location in many ways, flashpoints like the Straights of Hurmuz, or issues in Indian Ocean or Western Pacific can be reacted to quickly. A base with birthing, maintenance and RR… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by John Clark
Deep32
Deep32
4 days ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John, I think that this along with probably the OPVs being permanently assigned to the Indo-Pacific region and the basing of an Astute as part of SRF-W from 2027, is our main contribution to helping deter further PRC expansionism. We will always deploy a CSG into this region on a rotating basis I believe, but as @ABCR posts, that I imagine will be it unless things deteriorate, then who knows! Truth is as we all know, the navy is far to small for all it’s current tasking. What is severely disappointing was the lack of any acknowledgement that the… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi mate, I think a base in Oman would hit the sweet spot, not just for the UK but for any of our allies to use. I cant think of a better strategic location for our East of Suez responsibilities. Oman is an absolutely rock solid partner of the UK and I am sure they would encourage a base of this sort to enhance their own security. To add to my already expensive shopping list, 10,000ft runway, bare airbase base facility (like the Australians have), to allow placement of air defence if needed, re supply flights, hot swapping of Navy… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by John Clark
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 days ago
Reply to  Deep32

Hi Deep. Yep that’s the stated intention and daft as it sounds the increased tasking may be the best hope of a small boost in overall numbers (and not just in ships). A T31 Forward deployed at Bahrain and another at Singapore need 2 extra crews if they use the existing long term deployed but crew rotation system. I think the idea is for another to operate in the Caribbean / Falklands so that would leave zilch elsewhere (due to refits and Training). My guts say 8 T26 and 8 T31 (or derivatives). Which is a small increase but still… Read more »

Jon
Jon
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

We still need the OPVs out there. Persistent engagement with other coutries, including smaller ones in the South Pacific, is part of the UK’s stated military response to help counter grey zone tactics, and the B2 Rivers are perfect for it. All the refitting in Gib is over and done for now. Forth is back in the Falklands, Medway will soon be resuming WIGS duty having left Falklands last week, and I believe Trent will be somewhere off West Africa again, having left for another deployment there about a month ago. I think we need to get Appledore to build… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If you have a Frigate you do not need an OPV as well, it’s surplus to requirements and without a boost in overall numbers it’s a luxury we just don’t have. Those 2 River 2’s are better served back at home just doing the mundane stuff like escorting Russians in Transit. The capability is irrelevant, it’s all about the presence. The remaining T23 and T26 have to used effectively and carefully so using them has to be a necessity and not a nice to have. To be perfectly honest and IMHO the whole idea of diverting RN surface ships to… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

we could have a good HLP The navy should think about something new that can enhance the fleet that we already have. The option for converting the contender argent was a really good one the main benefit being that the ship itself is ALREADY BUILT.many nations around the world count corvettes a missile boats as part of the main inventory the design of the batch rivers could be sent back to BAE and task them to change the plans in such a way as to make the ships that Are ALREADY BUILT.more credible as warships in their own right. Fitting… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Every penny you divert from arming our true Surface Warships is a penny wasted. There aren’t enough Pennies for everything as it is, so if by up arming a River Class OPV you leave a Frigate without being armed properly then ….. Just remember we are a Blue water navy and that’s the role we are actually pretty good at, not the littorals in the Baltic of Fiords. As for drone vessels the ones we have and are building are way cheaper and more usable than an Archer. Stirling Castle is busily playing with MCM ones and the toolkits right… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Believe DPRK leadership, collectively, assesses both intent, and especially the capabilities, of potential opponents. There are elements of conventional British forces which demand respect (e.g., RN:. SSBNs, SSNs, CSGs; SBS; RM; RAF: Tranche 3 Typhoons, eventually, Block 4 Mod F-35Ba, tanker and airlift capability, SAS; Army: Parachute Regiment, 16th Air Assault Brigade (not certain if that is the correct reference), etc. DPRK probably assesses that the British could play an inconvenient supporting role in a conventional conflict. Believe, however, that DPRK is significantly more concerned that RN is capable of raining copious amounts of ‘buckets of sunshine’ down upon them… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

… F-35Bs ..🙄

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
4 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Realize that SSBNs should be deleted from description of conventional British forces, or simply state, British forces. Apology, hazard of revising/editing process.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

ABC Roders for DS!

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 days ago

Well nice that I can actually reply now and thanks but I wouldn’t want that job. I’d upset way too many people.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Me too!! 😆

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 days ago

You may well hate what my 1st day would involve but it would probably be to disband the RAF Regiment (they can join the Army). And get rid of the majority of the Household division, 2 Infantry Battalions is enough and a couple of troops of cavalry. As for trooping the colour it would be modified so every regiment gets to troop theirs on rotation. Day 2 would address the one Big lesson I’ve taken from the Ukraine war. Having a superb regular Army is great but if you can’t afford a big one then you actually need a 2… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
2 days ago

Mate- I was kinda hoping you’d through your hat into the ring! 👍

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan
5 days ago

Why does the UK Defence Secretary go out of his way to insult the United States? Are British politicians obtuse and ignorant of the real world? Are they just plain stupid? Do they live in a fantasy world? Or is it that the UK has become so militarily insignificant that they know nobody is paying attention to them?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 days ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Good question and the answer in this case is Yes but others aren’t. Just look at Cameron’s polite but restrained response.
Shapps rhymes with “Cr&p$ which a Dice Game but with a different meaning and describes what come out of both his orifices.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
4 days ago

Let’s be honest the South Korean navy is powerful enough to not need any external support enforcing the arms embargo.
This is just more posturing by Sunak and co. If it was announced alongside an order for 5 type 32s and an add back on 2-3 more type 26s then fair enough.
Sort out home defences and the pitifully low force levels before committing our armed forces to actions all over the world.

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

👍

Andrew D
Andrew D
4 days ago

Does MR Grant Shapps and MR Cameron know how many ship’s the Royal Navy have 🙄

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 days ago
Reply to  Andrew D

It’s this delusion that one might have thought would have discovered enlightenment as the Ukrainian war developed but nope apparently not. It’s all about politicians working to gain political and commercial ital advantages without any real conception of what it actually means militarily despite that being at the core of the agreement. In other words it’s the peripheral potential benefits that are important rather than the core military agreement based on the hope and expectation the military commitment will never be more than a paper commitment. Again totally naive in light of Ukraine and without the ability or/and willingness to… Read more »

Apoplectix
Apoplectix
4 days ago

Will that be one of the River Class OPV’s then. Should scare the North Koreans.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
4 days ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

What happened to the now replaced harbour defence boats Sabre and Scimitar in Gib? the names at least will scare the North Korean Dictator, he doesn’t like it up im you know.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago

Crikey. Comments on this and the MDP article dropping like flies.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
4 days ago

Yep I wonder if they have been hacked ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Afternoon mate.
I’d not seen any comments out of turn that might get flagged, so maybe, UKDJs troll attendants again.
If so, it’s a sign this site is taken seriously with what is written on it, and the collective knowledge of its posters.
So in effect, a compliment.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
3 days ago

No idea what’s going on with comments vanishing but it’s on every post. I think you may have noticed the absence of Duker recently. Thou shalt not have a pop at anyone re Age and Mental faculties otherwise one gets reported to Teacher and co.
Re MDP their Escort Group are not like any other Police, they look more like SF.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
3 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yep. MDP also have a few other specialist units, OSUs North and South, and the TSG.
Given the SEGs role it’s no surprise, they work in tandem with NARO and the RM dets from 43 Cdo.
I hadn’t noticed Dukers absence until you mentioned it!

Ryan
Ryan
2 days ago

What exactly is the RN role in the Indo-Pacific? We don’t really have the ships spare to keep a regular force there so is this just a statement of “we can push a CSG in region if need be” so allies can add to the group capability, a multinational strike group with a British core in other words, and practice joint ops so that they can reasonably expect the RN to show up in times of crisis in force? Tbh it seems more use to be able to take over from a US CVBG in the Atlantic or Med so… Read more »

Frank62
Frank62
1 day ago

With an escort fleet below minimum we’d need to add at least 2 or 3 escorts to enable this. That allows such a deployment. Amongst other crimes, North Korea is conducting a genocide of its Christians.