Australia, US 'joined at hip': Turnbull

August 11, 2017

Malcolm Turnbull will come to the aid of the United States in the event of a North Korean attack.

North Korea's "bellicose and provocative" attitudes are of more concern than US President Donald Trump's tough talk, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.

The Labor leader has again said nations need to concentrate on encouraging Pyongyang to de-escalate tensions, rather than on Mr Trump's "fire and fury" war of words.

"The big concern is actually not the United States it's the bellicose and provocative actions of the North Korean dictatorship," he told reporters in Canberra.

Mr Shorten insists the government and opposition share the same concerns as North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un pursues nuclear missiles.

"Australians should be reassured that on this matter of North Korea and our national security, the politics of Labor and Liberal are working absolutely together."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull discussed the situation with US Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday night.

The pair spoke about the grave and growing threat North Korea poses near and far, the White House said.

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