POLITICS

Julie Bishop Says North Korea Must Be Compelled To Negotiate

The Foreign Affairs Minister said that it was in Australia's best interests that the North Korea nuclear crisis is resolved.

02/10/2017 3:53 PM AEDT | Updated 02/10/2017 3:53 PM AEDT
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Bishop said that North Korea was "in flagrant disregard and violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions".

Less than a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said discussions with North Korea were a waste of time, Julie Bishop has said the hermit kingdom must be compelled back to the negotiating table.

Speaking to reporters at the Blue Zone conference, the Foreign Affairs Minister said that it was in "Australia's interests for there to be a resolution" to the North Korea nuclear crisis.

"Three out of our four major trading partners are in North Asia. Any further nuclear tests that threaten the security of the region of course would be against our interests let alone those of the countries in the region," she said.

KCNA KCNA / Reuters
Bishop said North Korea needed to be compelled back to the negotiating table.

"Australia is part of a collective strategy to maximise pressure on North Korea to compel it back to the negotiating table and of course we want to deter it from carrying out any illegal missile or nuclear tests."

Amidst a war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there has been increased speculation that the rogue state could test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean as it accelerates its nuclear and missile programs.

Recently Kim Jong Un referred to the U.S. President as a "mentally deranged dotard" after Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea.

In addition to this, Trump's assertion that the North Korean leader "wouldn't be around much longer" were labelled a declaration of war by the country's Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters
In a war of words, Kim Jong Un referred to Trump as a 'mentally deranged dotard', with the President giving him the nickname of 'Little Rocket Man'.

On Saturday U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington had direct lines of communication with North Korea with an immediate goal to "calm things down", CNN reported.

However, President Trump has said that any efforts to negotiate were a waste of time.

"Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!" he tweeted on Sunday.

"Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail."

Referring to the tweets, Bishop stressed that "we must continue to find the political and diplomatic and economic means to pressure North Korea."

"North Korea is in flagrant disregard and violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions. Its ballistic missile tests and nuclear weapons tests are illegal," she said.

"The [U.S.] Secretary of State and others are engaged in a collective strategy as am I, on Australia's behalf, to put maximum political, diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to bring it back to the negotiating table."

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