UK, Japan agree closer security ties

UK, Japan agree closer security ties

UK, Japan agree closer security ties

"In response to this illegal action, Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed to work together and with others in the global community to strengthen pressure against North Korea, including by increasing the pace of sanctions implementation and working towards the adoption of a new and effective resolution at the United Nations Security Council".

Prime Minister Theresa May, eager to strengthen relations with one of her closest allies ahead of Brexit, is visiting Japan as it responds to an increasing military threat posed by North Korea.

British Prime Minister Theresa May (centre) speaks while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) looks on during a meeting of Japan's National Security Council at Abe's official residence in Tokyo on August 31, 2017.

But at a press conference alongside Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, Mrs May said: "I said I wasn't a quitter and there is a long-term job to do".

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North Korea is expected to feature heavily in the talks after it launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday that passed over Japanese territory, prompting global condemnation.

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.

"I want to express the strong sense of solidarity that the United Kingdom shares with the people of Japan", she added. North Korea hates such displays of U.S. military might at close range and will likely respond with fury.

North Korea on Thursday rejected the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) statement condemning its latest test firing of a medium-range ballistic missile.

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And this time around, will it truly reach the USA mainland? The North conducted two nuclear tests past year alone. Japan's foreign minister, Taro Kano, said Japan had requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

But she added: "I think it's going to be hard for Theresa May to lead us into the next general election".

Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said her attendance at the meeting underscored the two countries' close ties, after May this week said she was "outraged" by Pyongyang's provocative missile launch.

Abe told the gathering that May had assured him Britain's negotiations on leaving the European Union would be transparent.

"I very much welcome the commitment from Japanese companies such as Nissan, Toyota, Softbank and Hitachi", May said.

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Japan has been unusually open about its concerns over Brexit, worrying that 40 billion pounds ($51.68 billion) of Japanese investment in the British economy could suffer if trading conditions change abruptly when Britain leaves the bloc.

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