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Boris Johnson criticises ‘blood-curdling threats’ from North Korea

The Foreign Secretary was addressing the United Nations Security Council.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has accused North Korea of issuing “blood-curdling threats” as it threatens world peace over its nuclear weapons programme.

Addressing the UN Security Council, Mr Johnson called on China and Russia to use their influence with Pyongyang to “restrain” the regime.

He said: “There could hardly be a clearer threat to world peace more demanding of a unified response than the activities of one member of the United Nations, North Korea breaking its treaty obligations, ignoring the will of this council, and making blood-curdling threats to inflict grievous harm on peoples of other countries.”

Mr Johnson went on: “We urge other partners with direct influence on North Korea to use their leverage to the full with the aim of easing tensions and ensuring compliance with the express will of the UN.

“There is a vital role for China and Russia, both of whom are neighbours of North Korea with influence on Pyongyang, and as permanent members of this council, a special responsibility they have for preserving international peace and security.

“The UK calls on Russia and China, and other member states, to use whatever influence they possess to restrain North Korea and guide its leaders towards a peaceful settlement.

“Britain stands alongside our allies in making clear that North Korea must obey the UN and halt its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes – disarming in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”

Mr Johnson said many countries were not implementing already agreed sanctions against Pyongyang.

“The United Kingdom believes it is vital for this council to stand ready to take further significant measures to bring about a peaceful resolution.

“And sooner or later the North Korean regime must realise that their isolation not only holds back their own people, if the regime really cares about their own people, but also weakens their own grip on power,” the Foreign Secretary said.

The UN discussion is happening as the White House has declared that all options are on the table to prevent North Korea from carrying out threats against the US and its allies. US President Donald Trump has said he wants to see a diplomatic resolution.

The Security Council gathering came as Prime Minister Theresa May hosted her Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Chequers.

Mrs May said: “As we meet today, North Korea continues to take provocative action in the Asia-Pacific region.

“In the face of this belligerence we stand steadfast in our condemnation of such destabilising activity.

“Their nuclear and missile tests are a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international obligations, and a risk to global peace and stability.

“Prime Minister Abe and I have agreed that we will continue to work with our international partners to maintain pressure on North Korea and counter the security threat posed by its illegal pursuit of nuclear weapons and work towards a peaceful solution.”

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