Theresa May expresses unity with Japan in face of North Korea threat

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Akie Abe attended dinner with US President Donald Trump his wife Melania and

In response to the latest missile launches, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to condemn Pyongyang, writing "the US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years". I think they're a key player in this.

May arrived in Osaka in western Japan on Wednesday afternoon, marking her first visit to Japan since she became prime minister in July past year.

Mrs May said: "I think what I have made clear is what the United Kingdom is looking at and what the United Kingdom is doing and that is looking at pressure on North Korea, which is discussions about further sanctions and it's about the sort of change that China can bring".

China has long called for the issue to be resolved through dialogue, but prospects for a diplomatic solution look increasingly dim as North Korea's provocations have been met with escalating rhetoric, particularly from the US. She added: "We would encourage China to do everything it can".

Yoshiji Nogami, president of Japan Institute of worldwide affairs, told the Financial Times: "We can't negotiate until Britain is out of the EU".

On Thursday, May was to address Japan's national security council, where she is due to announce what is billed as an era over closer cooperation over security matters, in part prompted by North Korea.




The visit will include an audience with the Emperor of Japan, a banquet with business leaders, a ride on the bullet train between Kyoto and Tokyo, as well as a bilateral summit and private dinner with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. She said she would ask him to push ahead with a wide-ranging EU-Japan trade deal, with the idea it could then be used as a model for a separate deal with the UK.

A 15-strong delegation of UK business leaders, along with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox are flying out for the visit and will attend the UK Japan business forum in central Tokyo, where the PM will make a speech.

It is notable that the relatively small delegation only includes one bank, Barclays Capital, and one auto manufacturer, Aston Martin.

Mr Abe will be seeking assurances from Theresa May that Brexit will not be detrimental to Japanese businesses with bases in the UK.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said sanctions alone "cannot fundamentally resolve the issue", amid reports the three countries were pushing for new restrictions on North Korean oil imports and foreign workers.

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