Theresa May vows to stay as prime minister for 'long term'

Ms May's promise confounded the expectations of most political observers, who expected her to exit the stage before the next election after losing her majority in the House of Commons at the last ballot this summer.

"I said I wasn't a quitter, and there's a long-term job to do".

"We condemn North Korea in the strongest words possible for a reckless act which was a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions", May told a press briefing during an official visit to Japan.

In another interview she dismissed as baseless a report that she would stand down in August 2019 after the conclusion of Brexit negotiations.

The British leader said it is a formative period in shaping the future of her country, and that there are few places where the opportunities to deepen trade relations are greater than Japan.

"And it's crucial. What me and my government are about is not just delivering on Brexit".

However, the United Kingdom has also been perceived by some to reject the free trade model, following its vote to leave the European Union a year ago.

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"We must work together to enhance our collective response to the threats to the worldwide order and global peace and security", she said.

"China does have a particular position in this, they have leverage on North Korea and I believe that we should be encouraging China to exercise that leverage", she said at a joint news conference after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

May doubled down on her stance Thursday when asked by a reporter to respond to the MPs' comments.

"It is my intention not just to deliver a good Brexit deal for the United Kingdom but also to ensure that "global Britain" can take its place in the world, trading around the world and that we deal with those injustices domestically that we need to do to ensure that stronger, more global but also fairer Britain for the future", she continued.

Many of Mrs May's Cabinet members are thought to be starting to jockey to replace her.

May said on Wednesday Japan's upcoming trade deal with the European Union could offer a template for a future Japan-Britain trade agreement, the latest attempt to show investors that Brexit will not lead to an overnight change in business conditions.

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