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North Korea Issues Warning To Australia

'Don't join the US'

North Korea Issues Warning To Australia Getty Images

North Korea has warned countries at the United Nations in a statement: don't join the United States in military action against the Asian state and you will be safe from retaliation.

The caution was contained in a copy of North Korean deputy UN ambassador Kim In-ryong's prepared remarks for a discussion on nuclear weapons by a UN General Assembly committee. However, Kim did not read that section out loud on Monday.

"As long as one does not take part in the US military actions against the DPRK (North Korea), we have no intention to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against any other country," according to Kim's prepared remarks.

"The entire US mainland is within our firing range and if the US dares to invade our sacred territory even an inch it will not escape our severe punishment in any part of the globe," the statement read.

Tensions have soared between the US and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The UN Security Council has unanimously ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs since 2006.

North Korean deputy UN ambassador Kim did tell the UN General Assembly committee on Monday: "Unless the hostile policy and the nuclear threat of the US is thoroughly eradicated, we will never put our nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets on the negotiation table under any circumstance."

The Pyongyang regime has criticised Australia's "dangerous moves" in its support of US political and military provocations and says if this continues it will not be able to "avoid disaster".

"Lately, Australia is showing dangerous moves of zealously joining the frenzied political and military provocations of the US against the DPRK," state-run news agency KCNA said in a statement on Saturday.

"Should Australia continue to follow the US in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster."

But Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said Australia is not a "primary target".

"North Korea's threats only strengthen our resolve to find a peaceful solution to the rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula caused entirely by North Korea's illegal, threatening and provocative behaviour," Ms Bishop said in Sydney on Sunday.