North Korea would be “crazy” to test launch a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says.
Mr Joyce was initially speechless when asked about the threat and said he was worried for the region.
“That would be a disaster beyond compare for the region, for the people of North Korea, who have no dog in this fight, who are just trying to feed themselves,” he told reporters in Perth on Friday.
“One bad person puts a threat to the peace of our region and the economics of our region and the prosperity of our region … there will come a point where somebody, somewhere is going to have to do something about this.”
President Donald Trump has signed an executive order boosting the United States’ ability to sanction foreign banks, individuals and companies that facilitate trade with North Korea.
Responding to Mr Trump’s address at the UN, in which he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacked the US or its allies, Kim Jong Un issued a statement describing the speech as “unprecedented rude nonsense”.
He said Mr Trump would “pay dearly” and after his “ferocious declaration” of war, North Korea would consider a “corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure”.
Mr Joyce said everyone else in the region just wanted to get along.
“Why would you test a mechanism to put millions and millions of people in a microwave?” he said.
“I fear for the people of North Korea because I think most of them have never bought this ticket that their dictator … has purchased for them.
“They’re testing a mechanism to incinerate human beings … give people disease from radiation, to partially burn human bodies.”