Australia and US unite over North Korea military threat

Australia and US unite over North Korea military threat
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, US Vice President Mike Pence and Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop

US Vice President Mike Pence’s whirlwind visit to Australia has seemingly swept aside any lingering political tensions between the two nations, presenting a united front over the ever-increasing threat of North Korean military action.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Pence met on Saturday to discuss current political tensions with North Korea.

Both Pence and Turnbull are encouraging China to take a bigger role in pressuring North Korea to back down from its nuclear weapons and missile program.

At a joint news conference, Turnbull told reporters that North Korea's "reckless and dangerous regime puts the peace and stability of our region at risk".

"The eyes of the world are on Beijing," he said.

Pence said, "If China is unable to deal with North Korea, the United States and our allies will."

North Korea has since lashed out Australia, threatening a nuclear strike against the nation for "blindly and zealously toeing the US line".

The united front between Australia and the US comes after January's dispute between Turnbull and US President Donald Trump over a refugee resettlement deal that was struck by former president Barack Obama.

"President Trump has made it clear that we'll honour the agreement – that doesn't mean we admire the agreement," Pence said at the joint news conference with Turnbull.

"The decision to go forward can rightly be seen as a reflection of the enormous importance of the historic alliance between the United States and Australia."

During the joint news conference both leaders referred to the nations' long history of military co-operation that goes back to every major conflict since World War I.

"Our friendship has been forged in the fire of sacrifice," Pence said. "Around the world, we're deepening our defense and security collaboration."

 

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