Malcolm Turnbull

Sanctions best way to treat N.Korea: PM

Strong economic sanctions key to avoiding military conflict over North Korea, Malcolm Turnbull says. (AAP)

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the best way to avoid military conflict with North Korea is through economic sanctions on the rogue regime.

Malcolm Turnbull believes the best way to make North Korea come to its senses is to continue to impose strong economic sanctions.

The prime minister responded on Sunday to the latest tweets from US President Donald Trump, which said none of the agreements with the rogue state over 25 years have worked, "making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!"

Asked by reporters in Sydney what he thought the president meant, Mr Turnbull said: "The best way of ensuring that this reckless, dangerous, criminal regime comes to its senses, without military conflict, is to continue to impose strong economic sanctions on North Korea."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Mr Trump and the international community was becoming increasingly frustrated by North Korea undermining the UN security council's resolutions banning its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program.

She warned if it continued the US would have no choice but to increase its military presence in the region.

"South Korea and Japan will feel they are vulnerable and feel the need to increase their deterrence capability," Ms Bishop told reporters in Brisbane.

"So we believe that the collective strategy of bringing maximum political and diplomatic pressure to bear on North Korea must be undertaken by all nations to ensure North Korea changes course."

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