MALCOLM TURNBULL: China needs to step up to deal with the growing problem in North Korea

Indian PM Narendra Modi shakes hands with Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull in New Delhi this week. Photo: Getty Images.

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says China needs to do more to deal with growing concerns over North Korea.

Speaking to Sky News from India yesterday, Turnbull was surprisingly strident on Beijing’s need to intervene as North Korea continues to ramp up its nuclear weapons and missile programs and tensions continue to build in the region.

“The obligation I believe is on China as North Korea’s closest ally, as its neighbour, as its most significant economic partner to enforce the UN sanctions and to bring the pressure to bear on North Korea that only China can to ensure that the regime stops this dangerous and reckless conduct,” he said.

When Sky’s David Speers asked if China wasn’t doing that already, Turnbull replied: “Well it is not, clearly not doing enough.”

Turnbull’s comments were made amid reports that China sent 150,000 troops to North Korea’s border.

The PM argued that China needed to use its “leverage” over Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“So the Chinese side would say that they have imposed some sanctions but the reality is that the regime is threatening peace and stability in the region and in the world and so the Chinese are the parties with the greatest leverage over North Korea. That’s a fact,” Turnbull said.

“So it is vitally important I believe for China to use its influence to ensure North Korea stops this conduct.”

Here’s Turnbull’s exchange with Speers on China.

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