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Australia backs new Nth Korea sanctions

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September 12, 2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has discussed North Korea's actions with South Korea's president.

Australia has backed tough new sanctions against North Korea, which have been unanimously approved by the United Nations Security Council.

The sanctions came just hours after Malcolm Turnbull discussed the issue of the rogue nation's nuclear tests with South Korean president Moon Jae-in.

It was the ninth sanctions resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member council since 2006 over North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

"Australia strongly supports further UNSC action on the DPRK," Australia's UN representative Gillian Bird tweeted.

The US watered down an initial tougher draft resolution to win the support of Pyongyang ally China and Russia.

The resolution imposes a ban on condensates and natural gas liquids, a cap of two million barrels a year on refined petroleum products, and a cap on crude oil exports to North Korea at current levels. China supplies most of North Korea's crude.

There are also restrictions on textiles, which are North Korea's second-biggest export after coal and other minerals.

US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, said her country was not looking for war with North Korea, but the sanctions would "cut deep".

"We are now acting to stop it from having the ability to continue doing the wrong thing," she said.

"We are doing that by stopping its ability to fuel and fund its weapons program."

Labor spokeswoman Penny Wong said it was important the international community spoke with one voice.

"There are no easy answers when it comes to a state that is so willing to walk away from the international order, that is so willing to violate UN Security Council resolutions," Senator Wong told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

"But the most important thing here is to ensure that all nations work together, present a united front and exert diplomatic pressure and economic pressure on North Korea to de-escalate."

Mr Turnbull told the president of Australia's steadfast commitment to South Korea and the pair agreed the recent nuclear test was a grave provocation.

President Moon thanked Mr Turnbull for his strong support and solidarity.

He also thanked the prime minister for Australia's co-operation regarding efforts to ensure tougher sanctions through the UNSC resolution.

North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test on September 3.

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