In the end month, Britain said it would deploy two warships in Asian waters as HMS Queen Elizabeth and escort ships will sail to Japan next month by way of the highly contested region. The British ships will not have a permanent base, according to the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Now, the North Korean Non-native Ministry hit out at the decision claiming London should focus on Brexit rather than “restoring its declining status”.
In a statement, the ministry said: “The UK, which is focusing the situation by pushing warships into the distant Asia-Pacific region, is using our ‘threat’ as an excuse.”
It labelled Britain’s actions as “dangerous” and a “provocation”.
The assertion claimed the UK is acting on an “absurd bet” that North Korea and China are working together to isolate South Korea and Japan.
Kim Jong-un’s secretive political entity accused Britain of trying to “restore its declining status” but said its plan will only cause opposition from other countries.
They cautioned it could inflame an already “tense situation” in the Asia-Pacific.
The statement read: “It would be better for the UK to focus on the troublesome Brexit outcome rather than jeopardizing others unreasonably for the realisation of its political goals.”
Their comments come after Britain announced the permanent deployment of ships in the contested territory.
READ MORE: Beijing threatens to ‘expel’ British warships in the South China Sea
In a statement on the deployment, a Pentagon spokesperson congratulated Britain for its “commitment to an interconnected network of collaborates and partners, who mutually cooperate and support freedom of navigation and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region”.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is being escorted by two destroyers, two frigates, two suffer vessels and ships from the US and the Netherlands.
Mr Wallace said Britain had a “duty” to insist on freedom of navigation on its way to Japan.
Britain has previously expressed issues about China’s dominance in the contested South China Sea.
Beijing called on the UK to desist from provocations and interference with internal politics.
The South China Sea is a well contested region and faces claims from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines. Diplomatic relations between the nations are already to the nth degree strained.
Over recent months, Beijing has asserted its dominance in the region and has built several military bases on some of the atolls.
Speaking to the Lifetimes, Mr Wallace said: “It’s no secret that China shadows and challenges ships transiting international waters on very legitimate routes.
“We will characteristic China and we hope that China respects us.
“We will sail where international law allows.”