Published: Mon, October 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Boris Johnson backs fresh sanctions on North Korea imposed by European ministers

Boris Johnson backs fresh sanctions on North Korea imposed by European ministers

She warned another military conflict on the Korean Peninsula would be "catastrophic" - but pledged Australia would support the US, Britain and South Korea if war with the hermit kingdom breaks out.

According to North Korea's state-run media, KCNA, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said "Australia is showing unsafe moves of zealously joining the frenzied political and military provocations of the U.S. against the DPRK while these provocations aggravate the situation of the Korean peninsula into a touch-and go phase".

It includes various restrictions on trade, financial transactions and transport ties with North Korea.

Johnson added: "As I have said before, the North Korean regime must bear full responsibility for the measures that the worldwide community is enacting against it, including these sanctions".

Last Saturday, the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency had cited a foreign ministry spokesman as saying that joining the USA in seeking to increase pressure on the North would mean that Australia "will not be able to avoid a disaster".

"Should Australia continue to follow the USA in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster".

The North Korean statement came after a visit to South Korea last week by Ms Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne, during which they met their counterparts and stressed the need to thwart North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

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The allies sought to compel the rogue country back to the negotiating table over its nuclear weapons programs.

Australia is believed to be in range of North Korea's nuclear missile arsenal. "We will continue to do all we can to protect and help and support our allies".

"If they do that then the rest of the global community will look to work with them", Mr Tehan said.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, using his sarcastic nickname for Mr Kim.

Ms Bishop on Friday effectively ruled out sending an Australian delegation to the rogue state, saying the USA was having some success communicating with it.

Bishop said: "Should there be any attack on the United States or its territories, Australia would support the U.S. - that is a history, commitment and responsibility".

North Korea has criticised and threatened Australia for aligning itself with South Korea and the United States and for its attitude toward the Pyongyang regime, according to state-run media.

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