Today Show, Perth, interview with Sylvia Jeffreys

  • Transcript, E&OE

JOURNALIST: The United Nations Security Council has promised to impose further sanctions on North Korea this morning after the rogue state's claim it has conducted its first hydrogen bomb test. During the chorus of international condemnation our own Foreign Minister Julie Bishop labelled Kim Jong-Un's actions 'provocative' and 'dangerous'.

Foreign Minister Ms Bishop joins us now from Perth, Minister good morning to you. Given Kim Jong-Un has clearly never been worried by sanctions in the past are you satisfied with the UN's response this morning?

JULIE BISHOP: The United Nations Security Council has been united in its condemnation of North Korea's latest provocative and dangerous act. It is clear that North Korea has detonated a significant nuclear device, but it's not yet been established it was a hydrogen or thermonuclear bomb as North Korea claims. It does have a history of exaggerating its technological prowess. Regardless of the type of weapon that was detonated it is clearly still a threat to regional stability and a threat to international peace and security.

The United Nations Security Council have agreed to take further significant measures. The key to sanctions having an impact is to ensure that countries do not trade with North Korea, and so the key of course will be China, and I believe that China is as frustrated as the rest of the international community by North Korea's most recent behaviour.

JOURNALIST: With that in mind, given China is North Korea's only real ally left in the international community, will Australia seek to put pressure on China to come out with strong and real action against North Korea?

JULIE BISHOP: There is a united effort to impose greater sanctions on North Korea. Yesterday I spoke to the South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and he urged Australia and all countries to speak out against this latest provocative and dangerous act by North Korea. This is the fourth test of this nature that North Korea has carried out, in absolute defiance of Security Council resolutions and international norms on non-proliferation.

So it is a dangerous step forward by North Korea. It is its fourth test and we will continue to work with partners and allies and the rest of the international community to place pressure on North Korea so that it stops this provocative behaviour. Admittedly the leader Kim Jong-Un is unpredictable. With his father there was an uneasy predictability about tests, provocative behaviour and then demanding concessions from the rest of the world, but this leader is not as easy to read.

JOURNALIST: Ms Bishop onto another issue now, it hasn't exactly been a Happy New Year for your government. Do you believe that Jamie Briggs should have resigned before Christmas?

JULIE BISHOP: No, I believe an appropriate process was put in place and appropriate steps were taken.

JOURNALIST: Mr Briggs did accept that his behaviour didn't meet the Prime Minister's very high expectations of his Ministers. Does Peter Dutton's treatment of journalist Samantha Maiden meet the PMs expectations do you think?

JULIE BISHOP: In that instance Peter Dutton accidentally sent a text to the journalist. She accepted his apology and I think that should be the end of the matter.

JOURNALIST: You're not concerned with the language that was used?

JULIE BISHOP: I think this comes down to a question of respect. In all instances of course I'm concerned that all ministers in our government maintain the highest possible standards. In the case of Jamie Briggs he accepted that his conduct on the night in question did not meet ministerial standards and he resigned. That was the right thing to do in those circumstances. Peter Dutton recognised that he had sent an offensive text to a journalist. He immediately apologised and she accepted that apology, and I think the matter should rest there.

JOURNALIST: Alright Foreign Minister, we'll have to leave it there for now, we appreciate your time.

JULIE BISHOP: Thank you.

- Ends -

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