North Korea has bluntly warned Australia of a possible nuclear strike if Canberra persists in "blindly and zealously toeing the US line".
North Korea's state news agency (KCNA) on Saturday quoted a foreign ministry spokesman castigating Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop after she "spouted a string of rubbish" against the the Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK).
"If Australia persists in following the US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and remains a shock brigade of the US master, this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of the DPRK," the report said.
"The Australian foreign minister had better think twice about the consequences to be entailed by her reckless tongue-lashing before flattering the US."
US Vice-President Mike Pence is in Australia and the threat of North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles programs were high on the agenda in talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.