Malcolm Turnbull backs Trump on North Korea: 'We are of one mind'

Pentagon North Korea

The prime minister and the United States president have a phone call scheduled for 7.45am AEST on Wednesday morning.

From the Oval Office in the White House, Mr Trump spoke with Mr Turnbull in Canberra, with the call lasting about 30 minutes on Wednesday AEST.

With North Korean warning it had more "gift packages" for the United States after Sunday's nuclear test, Mr Turnbull told Mr Trump "Australia has got America's back", prompting the President to reply the USA had Australia's back too. "We discussed the importance of the full enforcement of the current sanctions regime and the importance of additional sanctions which, of course, are under consideration at the moment, being imposed in the future."He also warned that a conflict between the USA and North Korea would be "catastrophic" and argued that economic sanctions remained the best option for reining in Pyongyang".

It's understood the leaders agreed that now was the time for the worldwide community to exert maximum diplomatic and economic pressure, and that the can could not be kicked down the road.

'The two leaders condemned North Korea's belligerent actions and confirmed that their two countries will intensify joint efforts to denuclearise North Korea, ' the White House said in a readout of the call.

It is understood the two leaders spoke for about half an hour by phone on Wednesday, with North Korea and Islamist extremism said to have "dominated" the discussion.

The leaders encouraged China to put pressure on North Korea to bring the "regime to its senses".

Adding to the tension, South Korean officials said there is evidence North Korea was preparing for a new test, possibly an intercontinental ballistic missile. The leaders agreed that Isis can not be allowed to obtain a foothold in south-east Asia.

"Australia must use its influence wherever possible to promote a peaceful resolution to this crisis, and I hope this phone call goes some way to achieving this", Mr Shorten said.

"Both Australia and the United States are providing assistance to the Philippines government in that struggle to clear that ISIL insurgency out of Marawi", Turnbull said.

Turnbull said he had also extended sympathy to Trump over recent floods and hurricane damage in the US.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis also spoke with South Korean Defence Minister Song Young-moo to discuss North Korea's test of a nuclear device on September 2.

"We want to keep in touch with the situation, and the actions of the UN Security Council, for a while yet".

Asked about her trip to the Philippines, Payne warned of returning foreign fighters and ISIS affiliates gaining a foothold in south-east Asia but did not give any further details about Australia's contribution.



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