British PM Theresa May Attends Top Security Meeting In Japan

South Korean F-15 fighter jets drop bombs over the Korean Peninsula South Korea

Former cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, former party chair Grant Shapps and Tory grandee Michael Heseltine all expressed surprise at her determination to go on.

In a series of interviews, Mrs May promised to deliver social reforms aimed at a "brighter future".

"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.

"Yes, dealing with injustices that remain inside the United Kingdom, but also going out around the world ensuring that we can do those trade deals which bring prosperity to our economy and bring jobs to the United Kingdom".

In the immediate aftermath of her party's failure to win June's general election outright, several MPs called on her to consider her position.

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Pressed to rule out stepping down before the next election, due in 2022, she replied: "I'm not a quitter". Prior to May's visit, Japanese officials said there would not be "substantial progress" on a trade deal until the UK's future relationship with the European Union was clarified, dashing May's hopes, the Financial Times reports. So far she has experienced a ride on a bullet train from Kyoto to Tokyo, a dinner and a traditional tea ceremony with Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

She told BBC's Hardtalk that no leader wants to put a date on their departure in advance because it is a sign of "your own political mortality" and added she thought it "would be hard for Theresa May to lead us into the next general election".

By and large those who are most unimpressed by the way she has led up to this point think that it was a deliberate move to show authority.

Some senior MPs I've spoken to today are totally adamant that "this is obviously not going to happen" because they have permanently lost trust in the Prime Minister who they still see as a "disaster" and "totally arrogant" to be suggesting she might have a second life.

The UK is due to leave the European Union in March 2019 and supporters of Mrs May have said leadership speculation serves only to undermine attempts to secure the best possible terms of exit. Her apparent change of heart might prompt some MPs to revisit whether they are content to let her continue in office. She's ideally placed to deliver a great outcome for our country, get a great negotiation done and then deliver what we all want to see, which is this exciting agenda of global Britain.

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