US military chiefs have called on the RAF to aid an international espionage operation and send British spy planes to conduct surveillance over the Korean Peninsula.
The decision will require backing from MPs before deployment of at least one of the air force’s three Rivet Joint reconnaissance aircraft to a Japanese air base in the next fortnight.
From there the £800million spy plane would go on to intercept North Korean intelligence communications in a bid to discover the location of Kim Jong-un’s military bases.
A source close to the situation said: “Although a conflict between North Korea and America and their allies is unthinkable, everything that can be done is being done to prepare for that if it happens.
“Western war planners are keen to minimise the death toll and that means a massive stepping-up of intelligence gathering against North Korea.”
It comes as Kim Jong-un said he would fire four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles 30km from the coast of the US territory of Guam.
The missile threat followed harsh words from Donald Trump, who told Kim Jong-un his nation would face “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” if he did not stop his warmongering declarations.
As a founding member of Nato, the UK would be obliged to consider the Trump administration’s request amid mounting fears the rising tension between President Trump and Kim Jong-un could be the spark that ignites World War 3.
The source added: “NATO needs to stand behind the US as this situation could impact everyone.”
The RAF crew would be assigned US military personnel who speak the language.
Meanwhile MI5 and GCHQ are on high alert as they monitor allied nations to try and uncover their reactions to a show of North Korean aggressions.
An intelligence source told the Mirror: “This is all about making sure every step is taken to avoid something going wrong as efforts are made to solve this crisis through diplomacy.
“They are monitoring how Japan and China and other surrounding countries are reacting to each development.”