UK, Japan to hike pace of sanctions against N. Korea: May

Theresa May

Earlier Thursday, Beijing slammed a report that suggested the US, Japan and Britain were planning fresh punitive measures against the North, saying calls for sanctions were "destructive" and that those measures alone "cannot fundamentally resolve the issue".

China has advised Japan not to impose sanctions unilaterally on North Korea after it launched a test missile that flew over Japan, said reports.

"Even if we start on the basis of an existing trade deal that a country has with the European Union, it will be up to the United Kingdom and that country if we wish to renegotiate and change those terms in the future", she said.

She made the comments after deciding to go ahead with a visit to Japan just 36 hours after Pyongyang sent a missile cruising over the north of the country.

"With the participation of Theresa, I will look forward to having a discussion on the way forward of how we can strongly and aggressively advance our security cooperation", he added.

United Kingdom foreign secretary Boris Johnson, among the candidates in line to step in as the prime minister, continued to back May.

"They have leverage on North Korea, and I believe we should be encouraging China to exercise that leverage".

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"North Korea's reckless action is a threat" to Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told his National Security Council.

More than 1,000 Japanese companies do business in Britain, employing some 160,000 local people with many using Britain as a staging post to do business in Europe.

May arrived Wednesday in Japan for a three-day visit that is expected to focus on Brexit, trade and security.

"You're right, I said I wasn't a quitter, and there's a long-term job to do, there's an important job to be done in the United Kingdom", she said.

During a two hour train ride between Kyoto and Tokyo late on Wednesday the two leaders discussed Brexit, with May talking Abe through the details of a series of papers published in recent weeks setting out her negotiating position.

THERESA May's disastrous election means we will have to pay a bigger price for leaving the European Union and has weakened our Brexit negotiating position, declares William Hague.

May is due to meet Emperor Akihito on Friday before leaving Japan.

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