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North Korea sanctions

UK PM Theresa May and Japanese head Shinzo Abe team up to stop North Korea evading sanctions

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 2:10am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 February, 2018, 2:12am

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his British counterpart Theresa May agreed on Monday to work together to thwart ship-to-ship transfers of goods aimed at evading UN Security Council sanctions on trading with North Korea.

Since late January, Tokyo has spotted three instances of cargo apparently being transferred from foreign-registered vessels to North Korean tankers in the East China Sea, in violation of a UN Security Council resolution adopted last September.

During talks via phone, Abe also said it is impossible to hold “meaningful” talks with North Korea without the premise of denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.

He also emphasised the need to continue putting maximum pressure on the country to abandon its nuclear weapons development programme, according to the ministry.

May said she completely agreed with Abe’s views and showed a readiness to cooperate with Japan in addressing North Korea, the UK Foreign Ministry said.

North Korea blasts latest US sanctions as ‘act of war’

The two leaders spoke a day after North Korea expressed – during a high-level meeting with South Korea on the sidelines of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics – a readiness to hold talks with the United States.

On the economic front, Abe appreciated May’s hosting a business round table earlier this month in London for Japanese companies to discuss government support after Britain’s planned exit from the European Union next year, the ministry said.