North Korea's threats 'strengthen Australia's resolve' - Julie Bishop

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne at the border village of Panmunjom. Source AAP

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne at the border village of Panmunjom. Source AAP

"North Korea's threats only strengthen our resolve to find a peaceful solution to the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula", stated Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop.

A high-ranking North Korean official says the country's development of nuclear weapons is necessary because of the threat posed by the United States and contends the nuclear program is for deterrence.

The threats came amid increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea - but Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop says it "only strengthens our resolve to find a peaceful solution". But shortly before Chung Sye-kyun, speaker of South Korea's National Assembly, was to take the floor, a TASS correspondent saw the North Korean delegation leaving the conference hall and going outside the building.

Exports of European oil will be stopped and a ban on EU investment in North Korea will be expanded. "They mean the complicated 70-year history of relations with the US", Matvienko said.

"Australia will continue to work with allies, friends and partners on a collective strategy to impose maximum pressure - diplomatic and economic - on the North Korean regime so it changes its behaviour and we compel it back to the negotiating table".

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But prisons spokesman Keith Acree said officials did several counts after the fire and all 725 inmates were accounted for. Thursday for an attempted escape. "Several employees injured." It added there would be "more info when available".

Last month, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a tough new round of economic sanctions against North Korea in response to its September 3 nuclear test of a possible hydrogen bomb.

Defence Personnel minister Dan Tehan reiterated Ms Bishop's comments, saying Australia "will not be cowed" by North Korea, and "will continue to do everything we can to protect and help and support our allies".

"The North Koreans should do what the worldwide community have asked them to do - obey all the security council resolutions which have been passed, condemning their missile activity, condemning their attempts to build nuclear weapons".

"The Australian Foreign Minister personally expressed her support for the stand of the U.S. to consider all options including the use of force towards the DPRK" it said.

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