Malcolm Turnbull condemns Kim Jong-un's rogue state, pushes for North Korea sanctions

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a media conference announcing new anti-terrorism laws in Sydney, Australia, July 25, 2016.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks during a media conference. Reuters/AAP/Dan Himbrechts

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has condemned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and accused his state of trafficking drugs. Turnbull reportedly labelled the North Korean regime as the single biggest threat to regional stability.

Turnbull stated that North Korea is among the most cunning, sophisticated criminals in the world, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. He believes they continue to raise money for the funding of their nuclear program.

"Whether it is arms, whether, whether it is cyber-crime, whether it is drugs they are constantly raising money to finance their nuclear program," the Aussie leader said. In order to raise money for its weapons programs, Turnbull said North Korea seeks to exploit busy trading hubs like Hong Kong. He maintained that Australia will work with Hong Kong and its partners in Asia to efficiently implement UN Security Council sanctions against the North Korean regime. His official visit to Hong Kong is the first by an Aussie leader since 1984. He met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on on Sunday.

In Vietnam, Turnbull told US President Donald Trump and China's president Xi Jinping during a leaders' retreat that their relationship is one of the "single most priorities for the world today.” Turnbull also met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and emphasised that Beijing was equally frustrated with North Korea's conduct.

Turnbull in Manila

Turnbull told reporters in Manila that it was his job to keep Australians safe. He said that threats to peace and stability are greater than they have been for several years.

He encouraged countries participating in Asia's most important security summit in Manila to tighten economic and financial sanctions on North Korea. Turnbull also met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit.

'Personal chemistry'

Turnbull appeared positive that Trump and Xi will work closely on the North Korean threat as he had seen a “personal chemistry” between the two leaders. He also said they see “eye to eye.”

The Australian leader has spent hours with Trump and Xi at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang. "Just being with them together, I believe they have a personal chemistry and understanding that will never eliminate interest in national interest and agendas, but I believe and am confident they can work together," he said.

Turnbull told reporters that the key way to bring North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un "to his senses, without conflict, is economic pressure and that requires concerted action."