Japan, UK to cooperate over N.Korean missiles

The defense chiefs of Japan and Britain have confirmed that their countries will work together to have North Korea abandon ballistic missiles of all ranges.

Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo spoke with British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace by phone on Thursday. The North fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan earlier in the day.

Kishi and Wallace agreed that the launch violated a UN Security Council resolution. They confirmed that Japan and the UK will work closely for the elimination of all North Korean ballistic missiles in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.

Kishi also conveyed concern about China's new law authorizing the country's coast guard vessels to use weapons in waters Beijing considers to be under its jurisdiction.

Kishi and Wallace agreed to strongly oppose any attempt to change the status quo, and confirmed their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.

They also agreed to further strengthen bilateral defense cooperation through the planned dispatch of British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the East Asian region this year.