Japan and Britain demonstrated their unity in condemning North Korea over the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, with their foreign ministers welcoming a UN Security Council statement that blamed the North for the incident, although without naming the country.
Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Thursday told a joint press conference with visiting British Foreign Secretary William Hague that they also agreed to seek "concrete actions" by Pyongyang on its nuclear program, missile launches and past abductions of Japanese nationals.
On June 9, the Security Council attacked Pyongyang in a presidential statement over the sinking of the 1,200-ton corvette Cheonan in the Yellow Sea on March 26, which killed 46 sailors.
While stopping short of directly blaming North Korea, the statement mentioned the results of an international investigation of the incident that concluded that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the ship. Pyongyang insists it had nothing to do with the incident.
Hague said Britain is "in no doubt" about the North's responsibility for the incident as British experts took part in the multinational probe into the case.
Britain supports the position of South Korea over the incident and has "no difference with the government of Japan on our attitude to this subject," he added.