Sunrise interview with David Koch
JOURNALIST: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop joins me now from Canberra. Minister, we talked last week and you said it was still talks between the countries, is a hydrogen bomb test a game changer? Is the talking finishing?
JULIE BISHOP: This is exponentially a much more powerful test than we've seen in the past, it would be North Korea's sixth nuclear test. We're still verifying whether it was a hydrogen bomb or what type of nuclear device but nevertheless these tests are in direct defiance of the United Nations Security Council and unprecedented pressure will have to be brought to bear on North Korea to make it change its behaviour. It is possible to deter North Korea, so we urge all countries that are trading with North Korea to cease doing so because we've got to prevent it receiving the finance that it's using to fund these illegal ballistic and missile and nuclear tests.
JOURNALIST: So what sorts of countries are still trading with North Korea?
JULIE BISHOP: There is still trade between China and North Korea, there is still trade I believe with Russia. China and Russia are both members of the United Nations Security Council and so they are part of the enforcement of a very tough sanctions regime against North Korea but there are still areas of North Korea's economy that's being financed from outside.
JOURNALIST: Right. China is threatening the oil pipeline to North Korea from China, is that significant?
JULIE BISHOP: That would be an unprecedented move, it would have a significant impact on North Korea. This is the type of measure that will have to be considered. I note the United States is considering military options, it's considering trade options. We have to bring unprecedented pressure to bear because North Korea will have to pay a significant price for this latest nuclear test.
JOURNALIST: OK they talk about minutes to midnight, the clock… where do you see it at the moment? How's it ratcheted up to this latest test? Are we close to midnight?
JULIE BISHOP: We still have a long way to go because there are many avenues we can use to increase the pressure to North Korea to deter it from its current behaviour and compel it to change its ways.
JOURNALIST: But it's really telling the world to get stuffed isn't it? It's taking no notice of anyone.
JULIE BISHOP: This is direct defiance against the authority of the UN Security Council, that is the global enforcement body, and so that's thumbing its nose at China, Russia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the whole international community. This is a rogue nation, it poses a regional threat, it poses a global risk to security.
JOURNALIST: So when does the talking stop? Have you got it set in your own mind when the talking stops and we've got to have action, we've got to send… obviously we'll support the United States if they do attack North Korea…
JULIE BISHOP: Things happen in parallel. The dialogue must continue, the diplomacy must continue, at the same time the political and economic pressure must continue to be placed on North Korea so it will happen in parallel.
JOURNALIST: OK, none of that has worked so far. Are you prepared to send to troops if America goes to war with them?
JULIE BISHOP: We must continue to see how the economic sanctions will place pressure on North Korea. They've only just begun. I said last week to you Kochie that they had until the beginning of September, all countries, to put in place the sanctions, so the pressure from the sanctions will just start to be felt now. So I believe that with diplomatic and economic pressure we still have a long way to go, but the United States is looking at a much broader range of sanctions. If China is prepared to ban oil from going to North Korea that will have a significant impact on this rogue state.
JOURNALIST: Yeah, particularly going into winter. Foreign Minister, thanks very much for that. Appreciate your time.
JULIE BISHOP: Thanks Kochie.