Photo, above: Mike Pence with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Sydney on Saturday. North Korea has criticised Bishop over her comments about further sanctions on the country. Photograph: Pool/Getty Images

Kim Jong-un has threatened Australia with a potential nuclear attack if it continues to follow the US lead in isolating the Hermit Kingdom.

Austrailia is part of the growing coalition aligned against North Korea, a coalition brilliantly put together by President Trump and his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

I have wondered for many years why George Bush the younger and Barack Hussein allowed North Korea to brazenly threaten its neighbors, South Korea and Japan, who are also close American allies, with nothing more than lip service warnings and laughably ineffective sanctions.

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Kudos to Trump and Tillerson for their brilliant work in putting the ball in China’s court and forcing them to finally address the problem of their rogue ally. Maybe W and Hussein should have read The Art of the Deal.

North Korea has bluntly warned Australia of a possible nuclear strike if Canberra persists in “blindly and zealously toeing the US line,” according to The Guardian.

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 US 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 US.”

Bishop had said this week on the ABC’s AM program that 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.

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”.

In the report from Pyongyang, the North Korean ministry spokesman accused the Australian government of “blindly and zealously toeing the US line”.

“It is hard to expect good words from the foreign minister of such government. 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.

“It is entirely attributable to the nuclear threat escalated by the US and its anachronistic policy hostile to the DPRK that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to the brink of war in an evil cycle of increasing tensions.”

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