Aust slams North Korea's missile launches

Australia is urging UN nations to maintain sanctions on North Korea after more missile launches.
Australia is urging UN nations to maintain sanctions on North Korea after more missile launches.

The Australian government has condemned repeated missile launches since May by North Korea and urged other nations to keep up sanctions pressure on the regime.

Pyongyang fired another two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Saturday.

The launches came as world leaders travelled to the French seaside resort of Biarritz for the G7 summit, which brings together the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada, with North Korea one of the global hot spots on the agenda.

For the first time, Australia has been invited to attend and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due in France.

Foreign Minister Marise Payne urged Pyongyang to end the "provocative actions", saying the launches were a clear violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

They also did nothing for regional peace and stability while raising the risk of a miscalculation.

"Australia once more calls on North Korea to choose the path of dialogue. We commend the commitment demonstrated by the United States and the Republic of Korea to continue talks with North Korea," Senator Payne said in a statement.

"Australia joins with many other nations in seeking permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, including the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea."

Denuclearisation talks between the US and North Korea have been stalled since a failed summit between the country's two leaders in February.

Senator Payne said Australia was committed to keeping up sanctions until North Korea takes clear steps towards denuclearisation. She called on all countries to fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions against North Korea.

Australian Associated Press