Malcolm Turnbull

Keep foot on North Korea's throat: Bishop

Foreign minister Julie Bishop wants North Korea to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearisation. (AAP)

Pressure needs to be maintained on North Korea to ensure the regime delivers on its promises, says the Australian government.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop warns the world should not be taking its foot off the throat of North Korea until it demonstrates concrete steps to get rid of its nuclear weapons.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un promised to work towards building "a lasting and stable peace" on the Korean peninsula at a historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday.

Australia cautiously welcomed efforts towards denuclearisation.

Ms Bishop is unsure whether Mr Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from war games with South Korea was conditional on North Korea meeting certain milestones.

She wants to see North Korea demonstrate it is genuine in its commitment to denuclearisation through verifiable actions.

"I would not be lifting my foot off the throat of North Korea until I see very concrete steps," she told the Australian British Chamber of Commerce on Thursday.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has warned that Mr Kim had a formidable opponent in Mr Trump if the North Korean leader fails to get rid of the rogue state's nuclear weapons.

The prime minister said the US president had shown - via an "unorthodox" movie trailer-style video of condominiums on North Korea's beaches - that there was a future path to prosperity and peace.

"There's the other road which is war and destruction," Mr Turnbull told Triple M on Thursday.

Mr Turnbull gave Mr Trump credit for having a "red-hot go" at denuclearisation.

Labor's defence spokesman Richard Marles said the summit's success had to be judged by outcomes.

"The bottom line has to be the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear capabilities," Mr Marles told Sky News.

He said withdrawing US troops from South Korea as a trade-off for denuclearisation would not benefit Australia.

"Having an American presence in east Asia is very much in Australia's interest," he said.

"I think we would want to be having a conversation with America about that."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch