LONDON – Prime Minister David Cameron warned against any move to abandon the U.K.’s submarine-based nuclear weapons, citing a growing threat from North Korea and Iran as his Liberal Democrat coalition partners consider scaling back the missile program.
Writing in the London-based Daily Telegraph newspaper Friday, Cameron said it would be “foolish” to leave Britain without defenses at a time when the “highly unpredictable and aggressive” regime in North Korea is developing ballistic missiles that might eventually threaten Europe.
“We need our nuclear deterrent as much today as we did when a previous British government embarked on it over six decades ago,” the prime minister wrote. “Of course, the world has changed dramatically. The Soviet Union no longer exists. But the nuclear threat has not gone away. In terms of uncertainty and potential risk it has, if anything, increased.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats are coming to the end of their examination of the alternatives to the defense missile system, known as Trident, to save money and regain supporters dismayed at the party’s alliance with the Tories.
Possible conclusions to the review, which may be included in the party’s 2015 election manifesto, include sending nuclear-armed submarines out on patrol only 100 days a year instead of full time.