Trump and Australian prime minister hold 'very constructive' call on North Korea

Trump and Australian prime minister hold 'very constructive' call on North Korea
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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that he and President Trump are unified in their push to up sanctions on North Korea after the two leaders spoke by phone Tuesday, BuzzFeed reported.

In a news conference following the call, Turnbull said he and Trump had a "very warm" and "very constructive" discussion about North Korea, the Islamic State in the Philippines and Hurricane Harvey.

"We are absolutely of the one mind in condemning this reckless conduct," he said, according to BuzzFeed. "We discussed the importance of the full enforcement of the current sanctions regime and the importance of additional sanctions which, of course, are under consideration at the moment, being imposed in the future."

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He also warned that a conflict between the U.S. and North Korea would be "catastrophic" and argued that economic sanctions remained the best option for reining in Pyongyang. 

"Everybody wants to get this dangerous situation resolved, bring this reckless, dangerous, provocative regime to its senses without conflict. A conflict would be catastrophic, everyone understands that," he said.

"And the best avenue to achieve that, that we can see, is continued enforcement of strong economic sanctions, and, of course, the country with the biggest lever in that regard is China."

The call between Trump and Turnbull was their first since The Washington Post published a leaked transcript last month of their contentious first phone conversation, in which Trump berated the Australian leader over a refugee resettlement deal that had been reached under the Obama administration. 

The call on Tuesday comes amid boiling tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, which has dramatically escalated its pace of weapons tests in recent months. 

The North on Sunday conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date, detonating for the first time what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb.

The country is now said to be preparing for another intercontinental ballistic missile test.