Turnbull and Trump conduct 'warm' phone call

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and United States President Donald Trump have talked for half an hour in a phone call described as "warm and constructive" and dominated by the ongoing crisis surrounding North Korea's growing nuclear weapons capability.

The US leader has been in discussions with key allies in recent days as the world considers further sanctions against Kim Jong-un's regime after it conducted its sixth and largest nuclear bomb test to date on Sunday. The detonation followed a series of missile tests that have rapidly raised tensions in the region.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said this week the North Korean leader was "begging for war", while Russia has resisted moves for further sanctions, calling them "a little premature". North Korea has warned it is ready to send "more gift packages" to the US.

Mr Turnbull said the Wednesday phone call canvassed "the importance of the full enforcement of the current sanctions regime and the importance of additional sanctions" being considered.

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: AP

US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Photo: AP

"We are absolutely of the one mind in condemning this reckless conduct," he said.

The pair also agreed on the critical role of the Chinese government in easing tensions, emphasising the country has "the greatest leverage by far and we will both continue to encourage China to bring more economic pressure to bear on North Korea to bring this regime to its senses".

Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump's last call was the subject of global controversy, with a complete transcript leaked to The Washington Post revealing the President blasted the Prime Minister for the refugee swap deal struck with the Obama administration and labelled the call his "most unpleasant".

The pair also spoke about the ISIL-linked insurgency in the Philippines, which has seen the southern city of Marawi besieged for more than three months.Both Australia and the US have been providing assistance to the Philippines government.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Marise Payne will travel to South Korea to meet with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon and General Vincent Brooks, commander of US and UN forces on the peninsula, and speak at a gathering of international defence officials. She will also travel to the Philippines.

Senator Payne said "the best thing that the [North Korean] regime can possibly do is to abide by the UN resolutions, to act in a legal manner, not a provocative and illegal and destabilising manner".

"And secondly, we would also be encouraging the international community, along with Australia, to lead in our application of the UN Security Council sanctions ... to send a very clear message to the regime that this sort of behaviour is unacceptable," she told ABC radio.

Emphasising the critical role of the Chinese government, Senator Payne said a number of approved sanctions on the rogue state were only now rolling out and needed the opportunity to take hold.

The government has made clear that the ANZUS security treaty would be invoked if North Korea attacked the US, immediately involving Australia in a conflict, but the Defence Minister emphasised the government wanted to avoid war "at all costs".

Mr Turnbull also spoke with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Tuesday night. It is understood the pair focused their discussions on the North Korea crisis and the ISIL-affiliated insurgency in the Philippines.

They also discussed economic negotiations between Australia and Indonesia and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

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The story Turnbull and Trump conduct 'warm' phone call first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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