Grave and growing threat posed by North Korea

North Korea’s long-range missile and nuclear programs represent the region’s most immediate security challenge. Any major instability or conflict on the Korean Peninsula would have severe strategic, economic and humanitarian repercussions. A North Korean attack on the United States would also trigger Australia’s commitments under our ANZUS alliance.

Australia will continue to work resolutely with our partners to bring increasing pressure to bear on North Korea to end its dangerous behaviour. China has unique economic leverage over North Korea. We welcome China’s support for strengthened United Nations measures.

We implement United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions fully and have adopted our own autonomous measures. We act with partners to counter North Korea’s proliferation activities.

North Korea’s purported withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions weaken the global restraints on the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, including ballistic missiles. These restraints have greatly protected Australia’s security interests.

Australia is focused on protecting our deployed forces from a range of air and missile threats, including cruise and ballistic missile threats. At the same time, the Government keeps the possible threat of an inter-continental ballistic missile attack on Australia under constant and careful review.