UK Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday called on China to exert a greater amount of pressure against Pyongyang, and emphasised Beijing’s critical role in the international efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear provocations.
“China has, I think, a very key role to play in terms of the pressure it can bring … I have said this to President Xi [Jinping], others have as well.
“We think that China has a role to play and we’d encourage China to do everything it can to bring pressure on North Korea to stop this,” May told reporters on the way to Japan, as quoted by the Guardian newspaper.
May pointed out that the UK is working with the partners on the issue, but reiterated that China is “a key player in this.”
On Tuesday, North Korea launched an intermediate-range Hwasong-12 ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean 733 miles east of Japan’s northern island Hokkaido.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has become aggravated in recent months due to Pyongyang’s missile launches and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.
In an effort to alleviate the situation, Beijing proposed a “double freeze” scenario in late June, in which North Korea ceases its nuclear missile tests, while the United States and South Korea simultaneously halt its military drills.
The initiative has been backed by Moscow but rejected by Washington; Pyongyang has not yet issued an official response.