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North Korea’s Missile Launch

Malcolm Turnbull has condemned today’s North Korean ballistic missile launch which flew over northern Japan and landed in waters to the east of Hokkaido.

“While this morning’s test is likely that of an intermediate range ballistic missile, it flew further than any previous test conducted by Pyongyang,” Turnbull said.

“This emphasises the grave and increasing threat North Korea poses to regional and global security and will only strengthen the determination of Australia and the international community to stand firm against North Korea’s illegal actions.

“Increased economic pressure is an essential pillar of the collective strategy to force Pyongyang to come to its senses and abandon its illegal programs and focus instead on the welfare of its long-suffering people.”

The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2375 on Monday.

Along with Resolution 2371, which was adopted on 5 August, Resolution 2375 targets new and important sectors of the North Korean economy, and further limits North Korea’s ability to use its resources for its illegal weapons programs.

This includes complete bans on North Korean textile exports, significant reductions on the import of oil into the country, a complete prohibition on natural gas imports, banning of all joint ventures with North Korean entities and individuals, and ban on all new permits for North Koreans to work overseas.

Powers to search ships for prohibited cargo to and from North Korea have been expanded.

It is vital that all members of the international community fully implement the UN Security Council resolutions – especially Permanent Five members of the Security Council with significant economic relations with North Korea.

Turnbull said “We will continue to work with our partners, including Japan, the United States, Republic of Korea and China, to impose ever-increasing costs on the regime for its destabilising behaviour.”

The U.S has called North Korea’s latest missile launch “reckless” and “provocative” in a statement released by the State Department.

“North Korea’s provocative missile launch represents the second time the people of Japan, a treaty ally of the United States, have been directly threatened in recent weeks.

“These continued provocations only deepen North Korea’s diplomatic and economic isolation.

“United Nations Security Council resolutions, including the most recent unanimous sanctions resolution, represent the floor, not the ceiling, of the actions we should take. We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim regime.

“China supplies North Korea with most of its oil. Russia is the largest employer of North Korean forced labor.

“China and Russia must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own.”