Theresa May calls on China to make North Korea stop 'illegal' missile tests

Theresa May Kyoto North Korea ChinaSky NewsTheresa May in Kyoto.

Theresa May has called on China to deal with the North Korea’s “illegal” missile tests.

“I believe that China should be using its leverage with North Korea to ensure that [it] stops these illegal tests,” the Prime Minister told Sky News in Kyoto on Wednesday.

When asked to elaborate, May said there were “a number of issues that China can look at,” such as further international sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Earlier this month the United Nations Security Council unanimously agreed to impose sanctions on North Korean exports that were likely to cut the country’s $US3 billion annual export revenue by a third. North Korea threatened “thousands-fold” revenge on the US after these sanctions were announced.

The US and Japan also plan to call for an international ban on oil exports to North Korea in a United Nations Security Council emergency meeting next Tuesday, Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review reported.

May also said in her Wednesday interview:

“I welcome the fact that the United Nations Security Council has been united in its condemnation of the actions of North Korea. These are illegal tests that they have carried out, and they should stop these.

“What I want to do is work with our international partners and I will have obviously have the opportunity in Japan to talk to [Japanese] Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe about these tests that North Korea have been carrying out, and how we can work together, and with others internationally, to put pressure on North Korea to stop.”

She, however, dodged questions when asked whether the UK would commit troops to deter them, and declined to specify any red lines for North Korea.

North korea missile testsKCNAA file photo of a North Korean missile test from state-owned Korean Central News Agency.

China is North Korea’s largest trading partner, and exports tens of thousands of tonnes of crude oil and fuel to the Hermit Kingdom each year, per the Financial Times. In July, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that sanctions against North Korea were “needed” but “not the final goal.”

On Tuesday morning local time, North Korea launched a missile that passed over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, which Prime Minister Abe labelled “an unprecedented, grave, and serious threat” to regional security.

North Korean state media on Wednesday warned of more missile flights over Japan, and said Tuesday’s launch was a “meaningful prelude to containing Guam.” Kim Jong Un’s regime first threatened to attack the US island territory after President Donald Trump threatened to respond to North Korea’s threats with “fire and fury.”

Last week, North Korea also threatened Britain with “a miserable end” for taking part in military exercises in South Korea.

May arrived in Japan on Wednesday to discuss a potential post-Brexit trade deal with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. But Japanese officials on Tuesday shot down the UK’s hopes for a quick trade agreement, saying said they were in no rush to enter negotiations with Britain, especially since it is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU.

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