North Korea detains third USA citizen: Yonhap

North Korea has warned Australia of a nuclear strike following remarks by Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that it sees Pyongyang's weapons program as a threat.

"The present Government of Australia is blindly and zealously toeing the U.S. line", the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that Bishop should be more careful making such statements and "better think twice about the consequences".

North Korea will mark the 85th anniversary of the foundation of its Korean People's Army on Tuesday, as it concludes winter military drills at the same time as US and South Korean exercises running until the end of April, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Lee Duk-haeng said.

However, Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday the Korean crisis could be resolved peacefully because of Washington's new engagement with China, despite reports North Korea could soon conduct a new nuclear test.

However, Trump has also ordered what he has described as an "armada" to waters off the Korean peninsula as a warning to North Korea.

Those comments were not taken well by North Korea, with the spokesman referring to them as a "string of rubbish".

The rogue state turned its sights on Australia on Saturday, threatening nuclear retaliation after Ms Bishop said North Korea could be subject to further Australian sanctions.

At a press conference in the National Assembly, Moon, candidate for the Democratic Party, said he and his government "will take back the wartime OPCON early" and enhance deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats.

Labor's defence spokesman, Richard Marles, said on Sky News on Sunday it was clear the new Trump administration had adopted a "harder edge" on North Korea, but he played down the risk of outright conflict.

The council said North Korea's illegal missile and nuclear activities "are greatly increasing tension in the region and beyond" and expressed "utmost concern" at its "highly destabilizing behavior and flagrant and provocative defiance" of six United Nations sanctions resolutions.

US President Donald Trump, left, has demanded Chinese President Xi Jinping use his nation's clout with North Korea to rein in its nuclear and missile programs.

"We are quietly confident, I would say, that China will step up to this challenge and responsibility".

Moon's views on North Korea have surfaced as a hot button topic in this year's early presidential election.

North Korea has detained another USA citizen.

"All Koreans in the north, the south and overseas should turn out as one in the nation-wide struggle to frustrate the foolhardy north-targeted war moves of the USA, the harasser of human peace and the most brutal mastermind of aggression, and the south Korean puppet group of traitors toeing the U.S. line".

  • Leroy Wright