US Defence Secretary Mattis has said the US and UK stand together against the increasing threat from North Korea.

“Together we send a message of transatlantic resolve” he said.

Newly appointed Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was hosting his US counterpart in London for a bilateral meeting and in what they both called a volatile and dynamic security environment, Gen Mattis said they stand “united in condemning North Korea’s aggressive provocation.”

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

“From fighting in the trenches of the Great War to countering Russian aggression and tackling Daesh today, the UK has been America’s closest partner for a century.

Today our countries are cooperating on everything from operations and intelligence to innovation and this meeting is an opportunity to continue strengthening our special relationship.

We face some major threats going forward, we have to be constantly vigilant to defeat the Daesh death cult. This year they have murdered citizens in New York, Manchester and London.

We must continue to confront increased Russian aggression, and deal with the disruptive and dangerous behaviour of North Korea. We must never, ever flinch in the face of aggression.”

This morning, it was also reported that a North Korean soldier defected to the South after being shot and wounded by the North Korean military.

The soldier was reportedly found on the south side of the border village of Panmunjom, about 50 metres south of the Military Demarcation Line, wounded in his shoulder and elbow, according to a South Korean defence ministry official.

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Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

Our future defence lies with a strengthening of the Transatlantic partnership rather than a pan European one.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Agree. I’d line to see the UK in Nafta too.

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

The UK joining NAFTA is an interesting idea which I would support.

Lee H
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Lee H

What exactly is the UK standing side to side with? Yesterday the US displayed 3 carriers side by side patrolling off the coast of Korea. The UK is currently discussing further cuts, be it a reduction in minesweepers in the Gulf, the amphibious fleet including Royal Marines or reductions of complete Naval bases (Devonport). I would suggest that if we are to stand by side with anyone it should be those waiting to find out whether they still have careers in the service they joined. It is also Ironic that ACM Peach is sat at the table – he’s off… Read more »

Dave Simpson
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Dave Simpson

So negative and so wrong

David Steeper
Guest

Just a thought. But do we stand side by side on Gibraltar or the Falklands ?

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

The USA proved to be a reliable ally in the Falklands war of 1982.

The supply of latest weaponry from US military stocks and intelligence assisted in our victory.

Elliott
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Elliott

Gibraltar yes, emphatically yes. The Falklands is a little more of a gray area. In 82 the US supplied weapons from US stocks and provided intel to Britain. However there were and still are several major caveats. First you Secretary Weinberger acted without consultation with the Senate or the Joint Chiefs forcing the Administration to support him. Second the US had to creatively interpret the Rio Pact in order to not have to intervene. America chose to the interpretation that it was a defense pact and so as lonas Argentina was the aggressor conducting operations on another’s territory non binding.… Read more »

David Steeper
Guest

Elliot so what conclusions do you draw about the ‘Special Relationship’ ?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Mike – I fear for once we are going to disagree over the Falklands and the level of support from the USA. US Secretary of State Haig was clearly batting for the Argies. He even tried to lecture Maggie – big mistake. Reagan kept the USA totally neutral until the shooting war started and in doung so encouraged Argie intransigence. Possibly he was too thick to understand the complexities involved or he was more concerned about ‘Contras’. Who knows? But Jeane Kirkpatrick at the UN was very much batting for the Argies and came into conflict with Weinberger (at defence)… Read more »

julian
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julian

Personally, I would close military bases on the falklands now to save money and perhaps sustain more of our navy/air force/army. I was supportive at the time in ’82 and for many years afterwards, but in the face of more cuts Mount Pleasant is low hanging fruit to me. The falklands are neither strategic or important given that its supposed resources are never realised. we should focus on european and middle east security now and build the right resources to secure that. I would also cut the foreign aid budget and give some of that to the MOD. Tough times… Read more »

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

The abandonment of the people of the Falklands, and it’s the people that really matter rather than the territory, is politically unacceptable.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Not to me its not. Cutting the UK forces even further simply to afford those citizens the right to live 10,000 miles away is even more unacceptable. There is no business case in the falklands and notions of self-determination etc ran out of change years ago.

they can all move back to blighty if they want to be british. plenty of sheep farming to be had in Scotland and wales – even looks the same.

Elliott
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Elliott

A Citizen is a Citizen in every clime and place they live. The US for example is just as hyper protective about Guam, the Marianas and Samoa as it is Rhode Island. “Notions of self determination ran out of change?” Well good God, why are we living in democracies?
There is only one thing that should not be up for a vote and that is Secession.

Julian
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Julian

I would be more worried about those citizens in northern Ireland or even canvey Island for that matter who are closer at hand, contribute and may leave the UK rather than those who are net takers 10,000 miles away. we are not the US, Mount Pleasant is not a huge strategic base and the situation is very different.

Now, Falklands base or amphibious capability? I would rather keep the amphibious capability. Interestingly and ironically the future of the former may be dependent on the retention of the latter

David Steeper
Guest

Julian so how far away from London do you live ? Maybe we should stop defending you and you can move there ?

FrankLT
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FrankLT

If you start abandoning the defense of British territories, where will it end? We have had governments that have chosen to cut savagely the fabric of this nation rather than go after the opt-out of taxation by the rich. It’s been a long steady choice. As the state has shrunk, causing immense suffering, so has our armed forces. Wealth has been sucked out of circulation with nearly no taxation to sit idly in off-shore accounts. HMG of all parties has allowed that. We are still a very wealthy country. It’s a question of our priorities & sticking our head in… Read more »

barry white
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barry white

Why is everybody assuming that Devonport should close
It has twice the capacity of Potsmouth
More large drydocks
The home of the amphibious fleet and he marines that are based around the area
The home of FOST
A perfect and safe anchorage
And quick access to the Atlantic
Plus the fact that it is the only place in the UK that is capable of refitting and FUELING our nuclear ballistic subs
All in all i think it has a vast amount going for it
Oh and Raligh is only across the river

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

If the UK is to keep its expeditionary focus getting rid of oversees bases is a non starter.
Personally I’d be improving the facilities at the PJOB’s in the Falklands, Ascension, Gibraltar, Cyprus, nor getting rid of them.
“Defence” is as much about infrastructure as how many this and that.

Geoff
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Geoff

I hope Secretary Mattis told Williamson and Peach exactly what the US thinks of their plan to transfer the Marines to the Army and do away with out amphibious capability.

Was totally disgusted with Peach’s comments on Sky News before Sunday’s Remembrance Service.

RAF is top dog now despite being the junior service (what the hell was Charles doing wearing RAF uniform on Sunday ???), and Peach is happy to sit by and watch his service have its budget ring-fenced whilst the RN is being hollowed out

Ben P
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Ben P

The possible plan is to cut marines for the Royal Navy, not the army.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Geoff – I think you will find Prince Charles is (and those round him are) very astute at what uniform to wear when. He has ceremonial and honorary roles in all forces as you know and will rotate uniform as appropriate. One might ask why Princess Anne, with no military background, wears a Royal Navy uniform but the answer is the same. She has an Honorary role.

I suspect your illogical hatred of the RAF is now seeping into an insult to the Heir.

JohnStevens
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JohnStevens

Julian your so wrong about the Falklands.. Cannot even believe you would say such a thing.. After the 255 British personnel that were lost taking the Falklands back. What on earth would people say about our country if we abandoned the Falkland Islands. I have to say your comments are very weak and naive to be honest.

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

Just to add to the above.. you say you were a supporter of the 82′ military operation to take back the FI.. Now you make these comments, to basically close the military base and leave the FI to it’s own future without our help is just crazy..

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

*Agree with Mike Saul comments also..

Julian
Guest
Julian

tough decisions have to be made. we keep being told there’s no money. naïve? no not me, more like realistic. if we are to properly defend our airspace, our important sea lanes and still have the ability to wage expeditionary warfare to defend our economy and direct interests then we should be diverting falklands defence budget to other defence projects. why do we pay so much to defend a bunch of rocks and penguins 10,000 miles away. The Argentine airforce is all but grounded. I don’t know how much we spend on falklands defence per annum but I bet it… Read more »

joe
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joe

Britain spends millions providing housing, healthcare, education and free cash to hundreds of hardened jihadis returning from their jihadi adventures in Iraq and Syria……

….. and you want to abandon the Falklands.

What warped priorities you have.

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

This subject i cannot agree with you on Julian, have often agreed with your comments on different subjects but not this one.. You say defending a bunch of rocks and penguins 10,000 miles away that shows naivety for a start. We are talking about 3,000 people (Brit’s) that have there own strong community and by the way they are not all sheep farmers as you said in your comments yesterday , also oil industry and fishery, tourism and quite a few people are employed supporting the military garrison.. The UK keeps a balanced garrison there… about 1000 personnel including 1… Read more »

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

*If i was told i had to choose between the Falklands and two amphibious ships i would choose the Falklands any day.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

If we cut Ablion and Bulwark then we better well hold the falklands, because good luck re capturing them without a proper amphibious capacity.

joe
Guest
joe

Britain can afford both…. 10 times over.

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

FFS the choice is not about cutting defence ties and support for the Falklands or loosing ships, aircraft, army battalions or the Royal marines. We as a nation (meaning our government) make tax and spending decisions. here are some facts, we have some of the highest personal wealth net individuals in the world living in the uk. Many uk citizens can easily afford million pound houses and lots of luxury holidays and drive around in the latest Porsche, Audi, Mercedes etc. We simply do not tax these very wealthy individuals enough for fear they will leave. Leave and go where?… Read more »

joe
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joe

Switzerland Singapore Taiwan Romania France Latvia Cyprus Serbia Ireland Leichenstein Croatia Andorra Bulgaria Hungary Estonia Malta Just a selection of the great many countries that have a lower corporation tax rate than the UK. Fun fact: When the UK Government lowered the rate, receipts increased. Fun fact 2: Ireland, at just 12.5% corp tax rate collects 50% more per capita in corpo tax revenues than the UK Lesson: Lower the rate and reap the rewards. Capital is mobile Wealth is mobile. Attack either and the are smart enough and mobile enough to move elsewhere….. and they will. You are right… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

Joe – Excellent response Sir….

Chris
Guest
Chris

Mr Bell – I would suggest you read carefully Joe’s brilliant expose of your Leftie ideals. Your Messiah (oooh jeremyyyy) is a Marxist of the ‘Old Skool’ for whom everyone who has more than a few bob put aside should be sacrificed on the altar of Marxist Socialism, where excessive borrowing can be labelled ‘investment’ and he can create a ‘Client State’ of welfare dependent voters. (Oddly enough a Blair policy) Of course his proposals would never touch people like himself, McDonnell, Abbott, Thornberry (sorry Lady Newby) and all the rest of the millionaire Champagne Socialist North Londoners. Just those… Read more »

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

Corbyn and McDonnell would be a disaster for this country given a few years in power.. Not saying the current government are all that great, but i think things would be a lot worse with the left wingers in power.. That’s what worries me so much at the current time both party’s are not exactly enthralling just when we need a strong government at a hugely important time for this country.. you know … ‘ strong and stable’ that sort of thing lol

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

John you are so right. The Tories are so weak. Normally the loony left would not get a look in, and people are actually entertaining the idea.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Daniele – In fairness the PM is treading a very fine Parliamentary line because as Major, Thatcher and Cameron knew before her Europe can and will split the Tories. The difference is that Labour is equally split but their tribal loyalties are stronger and it is kept under wraps. Just witness the 15 Tory ‘mutineers’ exposed by the Telegraph today. All ex Ministers, settling scores and using Brexit as their weapon of self destruction. May was misled by the Polls (you’d think they would have learned by now) and ran a terrible campaign. But despite all that given the terrorist… Read more »