Cameron urges support for UK’s nuclear deterrent

Citing tensions with Iran and North Korea, Prime Minister David Cameron offered a strong defense of Britain's nuclear deterrent on Thursday as he prepared to travel to Scotland where nationalists seeking independence in a referendum next year want to expel nuclear-armed submarines.

In a journey blending geopolitics with his opposition to the push for independence, Cameron's itinerary included welcoming home the crew of a nuclear-armed submarine based in western Scotland and telling defence industry workers there that their jobs were more secure in a united Britain, according to excerpts from a speech released by his office.

Cameron spoke as the mood of crisis built on the Korean Peninsula and the United States said it was accelerating the deployment of an advanced missile defense system to Guam in the next few weeks to protect American naval and air forces from the threat of a North Korean missile attack.

In an article in The Daily Telegraph, published before he went to Scotland, Cameron said the global nuclear threat had "if anything, increased" since Britain built a nuclear deterrent over 60 years ago during the cold war.

"I know there are some people who disagree with our nuclear deterrent and don't want us to renew it," he said. "There are those who say that we don't need it any more, because the cold war has ended. There are those who say we can't afford Trident any more, so we either need to find a viable cheaper option, or rely on the US to protect us."

With Iran pursuing nuclear ambitions and North Korea testing nuclear devices and missiles, Cameron said, "does anyone seriously argue that it would be wise for Britain, to surrender our deterrent?"

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