London is at risk from North Korea’s nuclear missile programme, the Defence Secretary has warned.

Sir Michael Fallon said the acceleration in Pyongyang’s race to build nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles will put Britain under threat.

Any military confrontation between America and North Korea had to be avoided “at all costs”, he stressed, and called for greater diplomatic efforts to rein in Kim Jong-un.

His comments came as the Nato secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, said the North Korean regime now represented a “global” threat.

Sir Michael told the BBC: “This involves us. London is closer to North Korea than Los Angeles.”

Asked if North Korea could hit London, he said: “Not yet, but they are clearly accelerating their missile programme. The range is getting longer and longer and we have to get this programme halted because the dangers now of miscalculation or some accident triggering a response are extremely great.”

Sources said Britain and America have both been taken aback by the speed of advancement in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.

The regime has test launched a series of ever more powerful missiles and earlier this month detonated its biggest ever hydrogen bomb.

At the start of the year it was estimated that North Korea would need a decade before they could launch intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear warheads, Government sources said. That has now been slashed to just a few years. Via Telegraph

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