Fri Apr 28, 2017 09:48PM
British Prime Minister Theresa May (R) speaks during a joint press conference with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in London, on April 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
British Prime Minister Theresa May (R) speaks during a joint press conference with her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in London, on April 28, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

British Prime Minister Theresa May has told her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe that the UK would remain "steadfast" in condemnation of North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests.

“As we meet today, North Korea continues to take provocative action in the Asia-Pacific region,” May said during a joint news conference with Abe in London on Friday.

Pyongyang faces international pressure to abandon its arms development and nuclear military programs, which it says are meant to protect the country from US hostility.

The North has so far conducted five confirmed nuclear tests and numerous missile test-launches, and it is believed to be preparing for a sixth nuclear weapons test.

North Korea’s military forces launch four ballistic missiles during a military drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea, March 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

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May said that “in the face of this belligerence we stand steadfast in our condemnation of such destabilizing activity.”

The UK and its international allies would continue to “maintain pressure on North Korea” over its “illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons,” she added.

UK to continue pressure on Russia over Ukraine, Syria

Elsewhere in her remarks, May said that it was important to continue international pressure on Russia over crises in Ukraine and Syria.

May said that “we should continue to stand firm in the face of destabilizing Russian activity, whether in Ukraine or Syria.”

“And that one of the ways to do this is through economic pressure including the use of sanctions,” she added.

Conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine after people in the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted for reunification with Russia in March 2014. The West brands the development as Moscow’s annexation of the territory. The US and its allies in Europe also accuse Russia of having a major hand in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, an allegation denied by Moscow.

With regard to Syria, Moscow launched its campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in the war-torn country in September 2015 at the Damascus government’s request. Russia's airstrikes have helped the Syrian forces advance against foreign-backed militants operating in the Arab country since 2011.

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UK to keep EU market access post-Brexit

Also in the press conference, May said she had reassured Abe that Japanese investors could continue investment in the UK post-Brexit.

Her remarks came as carmakers Nissan and Toyota along with some 1,000 Japanese companies operating in Britain had indicated they would review future investment based on the trade deal between London and the EU.

May greets Abe during a visit to Chequers, near Wendover, Britain April 28, 2017. (Photo by Reuters) 

“It is clear that our strong economy, high level of skills, and low levels of taxation continue to make Britain an attractive destination for investment,” May said.

“I have reaffirmed the UK’s desire for an enduring deep and special partnership with the EU, including a bold and ambitious free trade agreement,” she noted.

Although experts had previously warned that that leaving the EU would severely damage London’s position as a financial hub, May began the Brexit process last month and promised to complete it by 2019.

In the referendum held on June 23, 2016, nearly 52 percent of British voters opted to leave the bloc, a decision that sent shock waves throughout the world.

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