I will today lay before the House the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Command Paper giving the FCO’s response to the Foreign Affairs Committee’s 30 November 2008 report “Global Security: Japan and Korea”. This document will also be available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website link http://www.fco.qov.uk/en/about-the-fco/publications/publications/fac-response/session-09.
The Government welcome the detailed work which the Committee has undertaken. Japan and South Korea are important partners for the UK and, over the coming year, the Government will work closely with both to tackle the new global challenges. The financial and economic crisis is at the top of our international agenda and the UK Government are working closely with both countries as we prepare for the London summit in April. We will also be working with both countries on promoting a low carbon economy, and continuing to advise Japanese and South Korean companies that the UK is the place with which and in which to do business.
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions are the single biggest threat to international security in the north-east Asia region. The UK Government strongly supports the six- party talks mechanism and continues to see it as the best means of achieving verifiable denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. Our close relationship with the US and our representation in North Korea offer us opportunities to contribute to this process.