Marise Payne said that Australia is interested in accelerating quadrilateral security cooperation in the Asia Pacific region amid instability on its "doorstep" in Korea.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Australia is interested in accelerating quadrilateral security cooperation in the Asia Pacific region amid instability on its "doorstep" in Korea, Defense Minister Marise Payne said Saturday.
"In relation to the prospect of quadrilateral engagement between Australia, India, the US and Japan, this has been a subject of discussion recently. We have excellent and extremely strong bilateral relationships across all of the countries mentioned," she said at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
She said North Korea’s "fragrant disregard" for international norms in building nuclear weapons was alarming in light of Pyongyang’s threats to use them, which Payne said Australia could not oversee because of Korea’s track record of violating UN resolutions.
The minister said Australia would continue working with other nations to "increase the costs" for North Korea by imposing new sanctions on it. She added that US State Secretary Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis will be in Sydney on Monday for "2+2" talks with her and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.
This story first appeared on Sputnik & is reposted here with permission.