TOKYO (Reuters) - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Friday his country stands with Japan in efforts to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, and called on China to help bring Pyongyang back to negotiations with world powers.
“Britain stands shoulder to shoulder alongside Japan in our steadfast determination to stop North Korea’s persistent violation of U.N. resolutions,” Johnson told a joint news conference with his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida.
“We all need to increase the pressure on Pyongyang in diplomacy and sanctions, and that must include China using its influence to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.”
Taking a major step in its missile programme, North Korea this month said it test launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that some experts believe has the range to reach the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and perhaps the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
North Korea says the missile could carry a large nuclear warhead.
“Rule-based international order is facing various forms of challenges such as North Korea’s nuclear and missile development and what’s happening in the East China Sea and South China Sea,” Kishida told the same news conference.
“Secretary Johnson and I agreed that Japan and Britain will demonstrate leadership to maintain a free and open international community.”
Japan’s ties with China have been strained due to overlapping claims over a group of tiny East China Sea islets, while, in the South China Sea, China’s construction of artificial islands and military deployments have unnerved its neighbours.
Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Robert Birsel and Michael Perry