Australia has called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) and China to look at stronger measures to deter North Korea, in the wake of the regime’s sixth nuclear test.
The Japanese and South Korean governments have confirmed the rogue nation's latest test, allegedly involving a hydrogen bomb, with a seismic event of 6.1 magnitude detected at a North Korean nuclear test site.
In a joint statement to the media, Minister for Defence Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the five permanent UNSC members must apply more pressure on the rogue nation.
"Australia utterly condemns North Korea’s flagrant defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions, which ban nuclear weapons development and testing by Kim Jong-un's regime.
"We call for the UN Security Council to urgently consider further strong measures that would place pressure on North Korea to change course, and for all nations, especially the Permanent Five UNSC members, to apply the maximum possible pressure to this dangerous pariah regime.
"Australia is doing its part to exert pressure on North Korea through our full implementation of UNSC sanctions and our autonomous sanctions regime."
The statement called on China to deliver "strengthened resolve" and harsher consequences against the North Korean regime.
"We have repeatedly said we are committed to the path of diplomatic and economic pressure to resolve this crisis. We will continue to work with our ally and partners to change North Korea’s behaviour and deter it from threatening the region and the world with illegal weapons," the statement reads.
"We welcome China’s intent to implement sanctions, and urge it to use its substantial economic and political leverage to rein in North Korea’s actions.
"Now is the time for strengthened resolve by all members of the international community."
Russia, North Korea's strongest ally after China, condemned the latest test in a statement from its foreign ministry.
"This latest demonstrative disregard by Pyongyang of the requirements of the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the norms of international law deserves the strongest condemnation," the foreign ministry statement said.
"In the unfolding conditions, it is imperative to remain calm and to refrain from any actions that lead to a further escalation of tension.
"We call on all interested parties to immediately return to dialogue and negotiations as the only possible way for an overall settlement of the problems of the Korean peninsula."