Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce believes all options should be on the table to resolve the North Korean crisis and China should be doing more.
Barnaby Joyce is sticking to his view that every option, including military, should be on the table to resolve the North Korean missile crisis.
The acting prime minister also wants China to do more, saying it will feel the greatest economic effect should the rogue state push the button.
"If you start, when dealing with a person who is completely and utterly unreasonable ... taking out options, then they have got you on the run already," he told Sky News on Sunday.
But Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said now was a time for "responsible and sober" language.
"There is an escalation of the global threat, we need to deal with that sensibly," she told ABC television.
However, retired major general Jim Molan said Mr Joyce was "absolutely correct".
He said 25 years of diplomacy through three US presidents - George W Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - had produced clever words, such as 'strategic patience', and a North Korea which was on the edge of producing a usable nuclear weapon.
"I stress diplomacy should stay on the table but it should be backed up by economic sanctions and military strength," he told Sky News.
Senator Wong did agree with Mr Joyce China should be doing more to help resolve the issue but also recognised China has been engaging with North Korea and has supported UN Security Council resolutions.
"This is a global threat, it requires a response coordination and partnership amongst all major powers and regional powers," she said.
However, she was surprised North Korea wasn't addressed more at this weekend's G20 leaders meeting in Hamburg.
Mr Joyce said there was a very small chance the situation could escalate by accident or by a deliberate action into something serious and would have the greatest economic effect on China.
"We would be economically devastated too. The whole trading mechanism would shut down," he said.
Therefore it was in China's interest to deal with Pyongyang and move it off the global agenda as quickly as possible.
"Because if you buy a car you probably intend to drive the car, if you buy a gun it is probably an intention to shoot the gun and if you develop a nuclear warhead in a ballistic missile, you probably have an intention somewhere deep in your head that you might use it," he warned.