Need for pressure on North Korea growing - PM

  • 10/07/2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Prime Minister Bill English

There's a growing need for the United States and China to work together to put pressure on North Korea, Prime Minister Bill English says.

China and Russia blocked a bid by the G20 nations to condemn the secretive state at the meeting in Germany on the weekend over its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week.

Mr English wouldn't be drawn on whether he was disappointed by that decision, but said he'd hoped for diplomatic pressure.

"The best way to deal with North Korea is without military intervention; that requires concerted diplomatic pressure, including from all those countries who have a greater ability to put that pressure on," he said.

"That's what we would hope would happen."

Mr English said the best progress on North Korea was made when the US and China worked together.

"The need for that to happen appears to be growing."

China and Russia objected to both a joint statement from the G20 condemning North Korea and tougher economic sanctions, though the US, Japan and South Korea committed to tougher sanctions.

New Zealand is not a member of the G20, an international forum of the governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies.

"I think we're G98 or something," Mr English joked.