Australia Seeks `Verifiable Acts' From North Korea, Bishop Says

(Bloomberg) -- Australia wants to see proof that North Korea is suspending nuclear testing before supporting any relaxation of diplomatic and economic sanctions, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

“North Korea has made promises in the past and has not honored them,” Bishop said in an interview in London broadcast on Sky News Australia Sunday. “I’m cautiously optimistic that this is a step in the right direction but we would need to see more than just a statement, we would need to see verifiable acts to show that they are genuine.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told a ruling party meeting in Pyongyang on Friday his regime would suspend tests of atomic bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles after achieving its goal of building a nuclear arsenal, the official Korean Central News Agency reported. U.S. President Donald Trump called Kim’s statement “very good news” for North Korea and the world.

Bishop said North Korea needs to show it is abiding by various United Nations Security Council resolutions that ban its testing programs before sanctions are lifted.

“The international community must maintain maximum pressure in diplomatic and economic sanctions, in political pressure, on North Korea,” she said. “Clearly this international pressure campaign is working.”

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