21 April 2017

News Story: Japan and Australia to deepen ties amid North Korea tension

TOKYO (AP) -- Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop urged China on Thursday to do more to help out in the international effort to pressure and persuade North Korea to stop escalating nuclear and missile threat.

Bishop said that China has a "unique and specific role to play in pressuring North Korea to cease its illegal behavior. Australia plans to work closely with Japan, South Korea and the U.S., and with China, "to ensure that China can use its unique position."

She made the remark to a group of reporters in Tokyo, where she is joining foreign and defense ministers' talks between Australia and Japan to discuss deepening defense cooperation in time of the growing North Korean threat.

While supporting the U.S. government's shift to a tougher stance, Bishop said further effort for dialogue and economic sanctions are necessary.

"China is the source of energy, of ideas, of innovation, of expertise," she said, noting 95 of direct investment in North Korea come from China and that the North's exports mainly goes to China. "There is a far greater role that China can play in assisting the region and the global community in bringing North Korea into line so it ceases a nuclear and missile program that is clearly designed to attack the United States."

Read the full story at The Mainichi