100 signatures reached
To: Sir Michael Fallon, Boris Johnson, Theresa May
No UK involvement in new Korean War
In the event of a war (or war-like state of affairs) occurring between the USA and North Korea, the UK should not involve itself militarily, only attempt to broker peace.
Why is this important?
The current belligerent activities of North Korea (testing long range missiles, detonating nuclear devices, etc) are deliberately provocative to the personality of the current president of the USA, a country with a large nuclear arsenal. As Trump has in the past stated that he would "absolutely [...] press the nuclear button", and that in response to North Korea's speculative threat to launch a missile at the US territory of Guam he would unleash "fire and fury" against North Korea, it looks like a new Korean War is brewing, and this time it could involve nuclear weapons.
Given the relative sizes of the two countries, a nuclear war would be over quickly. However, North Korea is supported by China (who have the capability to strike continental USA, as well as nuclear devices), who may well decide that that an attack (nuclear or conventional) on North Korea is unacceptable to them, and will retaliate against the USA. Similarly, relations between the USA and Russia are not amicable, and Russia's leadership may decide that an attack on North Korea and/or China is an unacceptable action by the USA, and could take military action against the USA in retribution.
In short, any direct military action by the USA against North Korea, or by North Korea against the USA or allied territories, could lead to World War III, including the use of nuclear weapons.
No one who is sane wants a nuclear war, and no one really wants a war between the military superpowers of the USA and China/Russia. Even a conventional war between those countries could cause millions of deaths and irreparable damage to infrastructure and natural habitats across huge areas of the planet. A war involving nuclear weapons will undoubtedly wreak environmental havoc, and may even begin the extinction of the human race.
Given the narcissistic and unstable personalities of the leaders involved, a military conflict between North Korea and the USA is going to be nothing more than ego-buffing by proxy for President Trump and Kim Jong-un. The rest of the world should not have to suffer because of two bragging bullies. The UK has no national interests in the region, nor do our armed forces have the capability to take on either China or Russia's military. North Korea is part of the Pacific region, and the UK is not a member of the Pacific-region equivalent of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Therefore the UK should pledge not to become involved in the event of a military conflict between the USA and North Korea, whether or not that conflict extends to any supporters or allies.
Trump is desperate to start a war. He thinks a war will make him popular, make him look strong and decisive. Above all, he wants a war so that he can surpass Obama's record of ordering a successful military intervention in Libya. Trump also has a fragile over-inflated ego, and he sees himself as embodying the USA - therefore, any attack on the USA or somewhere protected by the USA is an attack on him personally, and must be responded to in the most aggressive manner possible.
Kim Jong-un wants an independent nuclear deterrent for his country because, after seeing what happened to Libya and Iraq, he's certain that's the only way North Korea can survive. He doesn't seem to have considered that if he drops plans for nuclear proliferation in North Korea, the sanctions against the country can be dropped, opening up the possibility of greater economic prosperity, which is another of his grand strategic goals. If he does order an attack against territory that is part of or protected by the USA, Trump is the sort of person who will activate the USA's nuclear first-use policy and obliterate North Korea - which will render parts of South Korea, Japan and China uninhabitable, draw China into the conflict (which is likely to lead to another nuclear attack due to the bad experiences the USA has had fighting a land war in Asia), which will bring Russia in as the only country with a comparable nuclear arsenal to the USA.
This madness must be stopped. The UK will be a priority target in any Russian strike, but otherwise we have no stake in the matter. Unfortunately, the Tories are desperate for a unifying and distracting factor to take our minds off all the problems they are causing for the country, and a war would be perfect for them. Our military is already overstretched, and even if it weren't it would be no match for Russian conventional forces. Even if operating alongside all of NATO's forces, Russia has more manpower and vehicles than we can muster.
The UK is a country with a long history of international negotiation. It is in that role that we should involve ourselves in this mess, nothing more. We should exercise whatever influence we have in our "special relationship" to try and stop Trump's ego-driven attempts to burn the world.