Canberra: North Korea has warned Australia of a possible nuclear strike if Canberra persists in "blindly and zealously toeing the US line."
North Korea's state new agency (KCNA) quoted a foreign ministry spokesman castigating Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, after she said the rogue nation would be subject to further Australian sanctions and for "spouting a string of rubbish against the DPRK over its entirely just steps for self-defence."
"If Australia persists in following the U.S. moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and remains a shock brigade of the US master, this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of the DPRK," the report said.
"The Australian foreign minister had better think twice about the consequences to be entailed by her reckless tongue-lashing before flattering the U.S."
The KCNA report said that what Bishop had said "can never be pardoned" as it was "an act against peace" and North Korea's "entirely just steps for self defence."
It said Australia was shielding a hostile US policy of nuclear threats and blackmail against North Korea which was the root cause of the current crisis on on the Korean Peninsula and encouraged the US to opt for "reckless and risky military actions".
Bishop had earlier said North Korea's nuclear weapons program posed a "serious threat" to Australia unless it was stopped by the international community.
She said the sanctions were to send "the clearest possible message to North Korea, that its behaviour will not be tolerated, that a nuclear-armed North Korea is not acceptable to our region."
She also urged China to step up pressure on North Korea to stamp out its belligerent and illegal behaviour.
United States Vice-President Mike Pence had then praised Turnbull for publicly calling on China to do more to pressure North Korea to dump its nuclear warheads and ballistic missile program.