Australia receives letter from North Korea; Julie Bishop says that’s ‘positive sign’

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Julie Bishop (1)
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop listens during a news conference. Reuters/Nick Ansell

The Australian government has reportedly obtained a letter from North Korea to urge the country to turn against US President Donald Trump. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was clear North Korea was trying to divide the international community.

Fairfax published North Korea’s letter, which reportedly came from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Affairs Committee. The letter states that the Foreign Affairs Committee condemns the “reckless remarks of Trump as an intolerable insult to the Korean people, a declaration of war against the DPRK and a grave threat to the global peace.”

It says the US leader has engaged in highhanded and arbitrary practice. “The US brought to their knees those countries devoid of principle, narrow-minded and selfish countries seeking after their interests with its nuclear stick and force and then cooked up the illegal ‘sanctions resolution against the DPRK to deny the elementary right to existence of the Korea people and check their normal economic development in breach of the inviolable UN charter by abusing the UN Security Council,” the letter reads.

On Saturday, Pyongyang used its state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) to call out Australia for calling to end the former’s nuclear weapons program. It warned that if it continues, Australia “will not be able to avoid a disaster.”

'A positive sign'

Bishop was quick to react about the letter, telling Fairfax it was clear North Korea is desperate. She also told Sky News that the letter was “unprecedented.” Pyongyang usually relies on KCNA to send its messages.

For Bishop, North Korea’s letter is proof that imposing maximum diplomatic and economic pressure via sanctions was efficient. She sees it as North Korea’s response to the pressure that Australia, the US, South Korea, Japan and China are putting on it. On Sunday, Bishop told reporters that the threats only strengthen the thirst to find a solution to the tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which is a result of “North Korea’s illegal, threatening and provocative behaviour.”

But Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull believes the letter from North Korea was not only for Australia as it did not state anything about Down Under. He said they sent the letter to other countries as well.

When asked about what the letter showed, Turnbull said it was consistent with rant and complaints about Trump. He, however, noted that North Korea is the one in breach of UN security council resolutions, reports.