'Keep foot on North Korea's throat' over nuclear threat: Julie Bishop' Tom McIIlroy, Andrew Tillett, the AFR
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called on the Trump Administration to clarify the future of war games with South Korea, warning the world should not take its foot off the throat of Kim Jong-un's regime prematurely.
Days after US President Donald Trump and met with the North Korean dictator, Ms Bishop welcomed efforts towards denuclearisation but said concrete evidence of progress was required.
She told an Australian British Chamber of Commerce Business event in Sydney on Thursday she was unsure whether Mr Trump's surprise decision to withdraw US troops from war games was conditional on the agreement signed at the Singapore summit.
Ms Bishop said the impact of tough international measures had brought the regime to the talks.
"The major reason was the impact of the economic sanctions that have been imposed since last August-September, by virtue of a unanimous resolution of the UN Security Council," Ms Bishop said.
"Also the threat of military action, without doubt, that's what brought Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table so I would not be lifting my foot off the throat of North Korea until I saw very concrete steps that this time they were genuine."
Australia participates in joint military exercises with South Korean and US forces. Last year two Australian navy ships took part in drills simulating the interception of nuclear material bound for North Korea.
Separately, the involvement of about 25 Australian personnel in a computer war game was denounced by Pyongyang as a "suicidal act".
Vice-chief of the Defence Force Ray Griggs said military chiefs were still examining the full implications of the summit.
"I think the important thing is that the summit occurred and as the Prime Minister said there are people giving this a red hot go and I think that's the bigger issue," he said.
"Has it helped lower the temperature on the peninsula – I think it has."
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