UK keen on working with India to check North Korea, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson says

UK keen on working with India to check North Korea, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson says

LONDON: The United Kingdom is keen on working "shoulder to shoulder" with India in trying to de-escalate tensions created by North Korea's unprecedentedly aggressive rhetoric that has hampered peace in the Asia Pacific region, British foreign secretary Boris Johnson has said.

To that end, Johnson said, the two countries are increasingly sharing military intelligence/co-operating in intelligence sharing and the UK had no inhibitions about sharing its most advanced technologies with India, giving the example of the Hawk jet trainers designed and made collaboratively in Bengaluru by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd with BAE Systems.

"We are with India, shoulder to shoulder, in our determination to ensure stability in the Asia Pacific region," he said while speaking at a dinner hosted by the Indian Journalists' Association here this week to celebrate India's 71st Independence Day.

Hinting at imposition of economic sanctions to restrain Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Johnson said, "When North Korea is reckless and wantonly threatening its neighbours and those further afield with nuclear strikes, we will work with our friends in India to persuade our friends in China of the truth the whole world can see which is that the Chinese have 90% of North Korea's trade and it's in the Chinese government's hands to exercise that economic pressure on Kim Jong-un to achieve the diplomatic resolution that we need."

He added, "This relationship is about so much more than trade and whisky. It's about the things that make that trade possible. At a time when the world is full of promise but also threats, the UK-India relationship is about the safety, security and freedom that make that trade possible. It is about 70 years after Indian independence, it's about an astonishing community of values between our nations. We are shoulder to shoulder with India in tackling extremism and the kind of terrorism that has been seen in London and Mumbai."

He concluded the UK was "working ever more closely" with India to ensure peace and security, which are the indispensable foundations of trade and prosperity.