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Syria and North Korea

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:13 pm on 18th April 2017.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 4:13 pm, 18th April 2017

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend that we should be clear that our quarrel is not only with Bashar al-Assad, but with others in his regime. It will be possible to sketch out a route map to show how we can keep the institutions of Syrian government and yet get rid of the most murderous elements of the regime. We need to be getting that idea across clearly in the next weeks and months.

On North Korea, I am sure that my hon. Friend’s words on the need to avoid ratcheting up the rhetoric are wise—he speaks from experience—but I believe that the key lies mainly with China in this arena. It is very much in the interests of the Chinese and the Russians, who share a border with North Korea, to rein in Kim Jong-un and persuade him to abandon what I think is a path of self-destruction.