North Korea missile capable of reaching Australia: Bishop

North Korea’s latest missile test is a “serious escalation” which may be capable of reaching Australia, according to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.



“We have been saying for some time North Korea is not just a regional threat it’s a global threat,” Ms Bishop told Sky News. 

The foreign minister said the concern is that North Korea will master the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile. 

“It’s the scale and the pace of North Korea’s testing and the development of its ballistic missile program that makes it a threat not just to South Korea and nations in the region but to the United States and directly to Australia,” the Foreign Minister said.  

0:00 Julie Bishop on the possible threat to Australia Share Julie Bishop on the possible threat to Australia

Ms Bishop once again called on China, a North Korean ally, to take stronger action against the regime ahead of further meetings of the United Nations Security Council on the issue.

“The regime must get a global message that its behaviour is unacceptable,” she said.

The US government has said all options are on the table to deal with North Korea, but the foreign minister said any action would require a “risk assessment”.

“It would mean assured destruction of North Korea if it were to be so provocative and foolhardy as to seek to dump a nuclear payload on the United States.”

Ms Bishop said the US will work with coalition partners, including Australia, on any response but “all options” have to be considered to ensure stability and security in the region.

0:00 Australia in firing line of North Korea missile: analyst Share Australia in firing line of North Korea missile: analyst

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd said the ICBM test,now president of the Asia Society Policy Institute, described the launch as “right up there in the league of provocative activity”.

But Mr Rudd warned against an escalating trade war.

“It’s now entering into the vocabulary of every nation-state that we can take action and counteraction, tariff and counter-tariff,” he told ABC Radio.

“It all heads in a very bad, spiraling direction.”

He urged prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to use the imminent G20 Summit to “argue passionately in favour of keeping the open arteries of trade functioning around the world”.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un supervised the test believed to have been launched from Panghyon, 100km northwest of the North Korean capital Pyongyang.

The missile flew for almost 1000km over 40 minutes before landing in Japanese waters.