Monday, 8 February 2016
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update the House on the government's response to yesterday's missile test by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea? What is the government doing in response to this test?
I thank the member for Reid for his question. I know how concerned he is and how concerned he is for the interests of the Korean community in his electorate. The Australian government unreservedly condemns the launch yesterday by North Korea of a long-range ballistic missile. This is in gross violation of numerous UN Security Council resolutions that have been formulated over decades. This is a threat to not only our region but also global peace and security. It is destabilising, it is provocative and it is dangerous behaviour. The UN Security Council has condemned this latest act of provocation by the North Korean regime. Indeed, the UN Security Council has stated it is a clear threat to international peace and security and has begun considering additional significant measures against the North Korean regime. Disturbingly, the North Korean regime continues to act in defiance of the international community and is focusing its very scarce resources on militarisation and the development of nuclear and ballistic missiles and weapons.
Now, this is grossly provocative behaviour. It is aggravating tensions on the Korean peninsula. And they are doing this at a time when the people of North Korea are suffering. It is estimated that about a third of the population is without enough food. That is leading to widespread malnutrition amongst the children, and it is estimated that a significant number of the children are suffering not only from malnutrition but from stunted growth as a result.
The Australian government have implemented all of the sanctions that the UN Security Council have imposed against the North Korean regime, and we will continue to urge the Security Council to take tougher measures against the North Korean regime until it ceases its development and use of ballistic missile technology and testing of nuclear weapons—because, of course, only recently, North Korea tested another nuclear weapon.
I am considering additional designations against North Korean individuals and organisations who have been supporting this destabilising and provocative behaviour, and the Australian government will continue to urge greater action against North Korea while ever it persists in this conduct that threatens not only regional peace and security but global peace and security. This regime must be stopped from this behaviour.