Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on China to rein in North Korea at the G20 in Germany.
The missile launches of the rogue state led by Kim Jong Un were a sticking point for the G20.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was the chair, recognised that while the G20 was usually an economic conference, this time the group secured a historic statement about terrorism and counter-terrorism, which which Turnbull said “Australia played a leading role in delivering”.
Despite that, Turnbull was disappointed that the world leaders present didn’t agree to publicly condemn North Korea for its missile launches.
“In terms of North Korea, there is unanimous condemnation of the conduct of the North Korean regime but my sense was based on what the Chancellor said to us was that it was a little late to achieve a consensus among all the nations on a particular statement to go into the communique,” Turnbull said.
“I would have preferred to have seen a unanimous statement but it was not able to be achieved. But look, there is nobody, I just want to be very clear about this, nobody around that table was defending the North Koreans in terms of their conduct.”
China and Russia objected to a joint statement and more sanctions being placed on North Korea despite the US, South Korea and Japan backing the proposal.
Turnbull said China, which has “the greatest leverage and hence the greatest responsibility”, should be the one to rein in the North.
“[The Chinese] are very forthright in their condemnation of North Korea’s conduct and indeed supporting the sanctions that have been imposed by the Security Council,” he said.
Fairfax reports that Turnbull ruled out using missile defences such as the US THAAD system, which is being used by the South Koreans, saying it’s “not really suitable for our situation,” but said Australia is working on its own missile defence system to protect “our forces both at sea and on the ground”.
“The answer in respect of North Korea is the denuclearisation of North Korea and for it to stop its reckless conduct, its reckless and provocative conduct, and as I said to you yesterday, the nation with overwhelmingly the greatest leverage over North Korea is China. And so we look to China to bring North Korea to its senses,” he said.
The Sydney Morning Herald has more.