North Korea detains third United States citizen, South Korean news agency says

Earlier this month, the acting U.S. ambassador to Australia James Carouso told The Australian that within two years, North Korea could have the missle capacity to strike Australia.

The spokesman added that Bishop should be more careful making such statements and "better think twice about the consequences".

"What she uttered can never be pardoned", the spokesman said.

Beijing also warned that if Chinese living in areas close to the site of the underground nuclear test were affected by any kind of leakage or pollution, it could take "any reaction" that would "alter China's handling of North Korea's nuclear ambitions", without elaborating how.

"The present Government of Australia is blindly and zealously toeing the United States line", the spokesman said.

"It is hard to expect good words from the Foreign Minister of such a government".

Australia and New Zealand stiffened their rhetoric against North Korea on Sunday after the isolated state threatened Canberra with a nuclear strike, urging it to think twice before "blindly and zealously toeing the U.S. line". "But if she is the foreign minister of a country, she should speak with elementary common sense about the essence of the situation", the spokesman said.

There are renewed concerns that North Korea may conduct its sixth nuclear test on Wednesday, the 85th anniversary of its military, and China said this week it was "gravely concerned".

His remark followed CNN's report earlier in the day that the Chinese air force put land-attack, cruise-missile-capable bombers on "high alert" on Wednesday in preparation for a potential contingency in North Korea, citing a USA defense official.

Marles said the early signs from China in response to the diplomatic pressure were positive.

"Mr Prime Minister, know that President Trump and I are truly grateful to you for calling on China even this week to play an even more active and constructive role in addressing the North Korean threat".

But he brushed off questions about whether Australia would join any military strike on the regime in the future.

It is important for the rest of the world to encourage China to stop condoning the North's wanton behavior and force the country to realize there is no other choice but to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles if it wants to survive.

China has turned back coal shipments to North Korea in recent weeks, one of the regime's few sources of funding.

In another warning message to the North, China said it would "dramatically" reduce its oil supply to energy-hungry Pyongyang if the regime disregards global warnings and goes ahead with an underground nuclear test. Pyongyang is heavily reliant on Beijing.

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