Malcolm Turnbull pushed aside his domestic woes to focus on global menaces in a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Japan's Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the East Asia leaders summit.
Rather than flailing leadership and a parliamentary crisis at home, the prime minister focussed on the threat of nuclear war from North Korea and Islamic State militants trying to gain a foothold in the region as well as the risk of foreign fighters returning from Iraq and Syria.
"These are dangerous times that we live in our region," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Manila, adding it was his job to keep Australians safe.
"The threats to our peace and stability are greater than they have been for many many years."
Mr Turnbull, and Japanese Prime Shinzo Abe discussed ways to to counter Pyongyang's "reckless provocation".
Mr Turnbull characterised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a brutal dictator who runs a global criminal operation.
"The key method to bring him to his senses is economic pressure," Mr Turnbull said.
He would not be drawn on whether the trio had discussed military options.
The prime minister also had a brief pull aside chat with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and acknowledged China's efforts to rein in the reclusive state while emphasising Beijing was equally frustrated with North Korea's conduct.
The prime minister is due for a one-on-one catch up with Mr Trump on Monday evening.
It's unclear whether Mr Turnbull will raise the prospects of speeding up the US refugee resettlement deal, as the stand off with hundreds of refugees at the closed Manus Island detention centre continues.
Mr Trump has reluctantly agreed to resettle up to 1250 refugees but only 54 have gone to America so far.
New Zealand's leader Jacinda Ardern has been hoping to gain Mr Turnbull's ear at the summit to express her "grave concerns" about the treatment of refugees on Manus and reiterate NZ's offer to take 150 refugees.
In a separate bilateral meeting Mr Abe and Mr Turnbull discussed their mutual disappointments over Canada's decision to throw a spanner in the works on reviving the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.
Meanwhile, Mr Turnbull confirmed he'd discussed the Philippines "war on drugs" with firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte overnight.
Since July 2016 there's been an estimate 12,000 extrajudicial killings.
Mr Duterte told him the leadership of campaign was being taken over by a drug enforcement agency.