Australia wants North Korea to pay a significant price for its latest nuclear weapons test.
The federal government is upping pressure on countries such as China to cut economic ties with Pyongyang following the powerful test of an advanced hydrogen bomb over the weekend.
China is hosting an economic conference this week – involving Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa – which President Xi Jinping sees as a demonstration of its international leadership.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, August 29, 2017.AAP
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says if China was to cut oil supplies to the rogue nation it would be unprecedented and would have a significant impact on North Korea.
“This is exponentially a more powerful test than we have seen in the past. It would be North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, we are still varifying if it was a hydrogen bomb, or what type of nuclear device, but nevertheless these tests are in direct defiance of the United Nations Security Council,” she told the Seven Network on Monday.
“We have to bring unprecedented pressure to bear because North Korea will have to pay a significant price for this latest nuclear test.”
0:00 Bishop warns North Korea after nuclear test Share Bishop warns North Korea after nuclear test
A shallow, 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook North Korea on Sunday with Pyongyang later confirming it had successfully tested a bomb that possessed “great destructive power”.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes China is best placed to bring that pressure to bear, saying the latest test is a direct affront to Beijing.
“The Chinese are frustrated and dismayed by North Korea’s conduct, but China has the greatest leverage, and with the greatest leverage comes the greatest responsibility,” he told ABC radio on Monday.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during the WA Liberal State Conference in Perth on Saturday, September 2, 2017.AAP
“Right at that moment, Kim Jong Un has chosen to affront China, to defy China, and this calls for a strong Chinese response.”
Mr Turnbull released a joint statement earlier with Ms Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne claiming North Korea’s conduct was reckless.
“North Korea’s reckless conduct poses a grave danger to global peace and security,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said in the statement.
The government says the UN Security Council should urgently consider further action against North Korea.
It has asked the council’s five permanent members and the international community to apply the maximum possible pressure to the “dangerous pariah regime”.
“Now is the time for strengthened resolve by all members of the international community,” Mr Turnbull said.
The opposition joined the condemnation, describing it as a “provocative and extremely dangerous act”.
“North Korea’s repeated defiance of international law and UN Security Council resolutions is unacceptable,” Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said in a statement.
“All countries must fully implement UN Sanctions as agreed by the UN Security Council.”