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Christina Lee is an NK News contributor based in Washington DC. She previously worked as Communications Manager at NK News.
What does Australia’s relationship with North Korea look like? “Non-existent,” says Ramesh Thakur, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy.
This may not come as a surprise today, given Australia’s vocal role in enforcing international sanctions on North Korea and strong calls for denuclearization. As expected of an Asia-Pacific country with foreign policy aligned with the U.S., bilateral ties are limited and modest, at best.
The lack of Australia-DPRK relations was highlighted in June when Australian student Alek Sigley was detained in North Korea — Sweden had to act on Australia’s behalf to secure his release.
But Australia’s “interested bystander” role stands in contrast to an interesting history beginning in 1974, when North Korea opened its first embassy in Canberra, and Australia in Pyongyang the following year, as well as Australia’s generous position in providing humanitarian aid throughout the past several decades.
The consular missions did not last long, however, with both embassies eventually shutting down by 1975. When the DPRK reopened its Canberra embassy in May 2002, it managed to last until January 2008, when the North decided to shut down.
Today, Australia coordinates diplomatic contact with the North through its embassy in Seoul and Jakarta.
Despite its relatively active role in Korean peninsula affairs up until the mid-2010s, Australia has mostly supported other countries with sanctions enforcement, choosing not to participate in the summitry of 2018.
Instead, in September 2018, Australia and New Zealand agreed to help Japan in monitoring North Korea’s illicit maritime activities, joining a global effort by France, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom to monitor the seas for cases of DPRK smuggling.
Last month was the official one-year mark since the unexpected ending to the June 12 Singapore Summit. Since then, North Korea has held at least one summit with each of the regional stakeholders.
But as inter-Korean and U.S.-DPRK diplomacy drags on further since the unfateful meeting in Hanoi, how does Australia view the DPRK issue? Does it have any incentive to move beyond its role as an interested bystander to a more central player in the Korean Peninsula? What can other Asia-Pacific countries do to reinvigorate regional and global nuclear arms control?
In an extended interview at the 14th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity in late May, Thakur sat down with NK News to share his thoughts on Canberra’s role in enforcing international sanctions on North Korea, and where things could progress from here, ahead of a planned U.S.-ROK summit and potentially another inter-Korean meeting.
Thakur is Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament in the Crawford School and Co-Convenor of the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament.
NK News’s participation in the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity was assisted financially by its organizers
The interview has been edited for clarity and length
NK News: What do Australian-DPRK relations look like at this time?
Ramesh Thakur: Australian-DPRK relations, I suppose, the short answer is they are non-existent. I don’t believe we have an embassy there at the moment. Of course, Australia is part of the UN command structure system, and Australia is a U.S. ally, along with the Republic of Korea and Japan, and not surprisingly, views a lot of geopolitical events through that particular prism.
I think Australia remains, on the one hand, suspicious of North Korean intentions and activities and would like North Korea to comply fully with the United Nations sanctions and all other countries that support that. On the other hand, I think Australia is appreciative of the reality that, one way or the other, we are going to have to resolve the North Korean challenge through dialogue, through discussion.
And therefore, Australia, I think, has been fully supportive of American efforts and South Korean efforts to engage with North Korean counterparts and see if they can find a way forward through this difficult period.
NK News: I’m not sure if you are familiar with Professor Jiyoung Song from Melbourne University, but in one of her pieces for our site, she stated something similar, where Australia doesn’t really have its own unique foreign policy on North Korea, rather following U.S. strategy.
Ramesh Thakur: I’m not sure that I would put it quite like that because this is in our region. The Australian government does have its own position and that position happens to coincide quite a lot with the U.S. position.
Just one area of difference, for example, we never supported the U.S. walking away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with regard to the Iran nuclear deal, in part because we thought that could have adverse consequences for dealing with North Korea in the sense that it undermines trust and faith in the credibility of American commitments to an international agreement.
It is overly simplistic to say Australia just follows the United States
So there are differences sometimes. You can point to differences between Australia and the United States, but on this issue, we have had a long engagement, not the least I can say because of our involvement in the UN command, and we happen to agree. We also take soundings from our Japanese allies and our South Korean friends and allies.
So I don’t think it’s simply a case of following the United States, it’s that on this issue, we very much share the concerns. We have had a longstanding commitment to ensuring non-proliferation, and we’ve been members in good standing of the NPT.
We were never happy with North Korea walking away from the NPT. It is the world’s only NPT defector state. And there are other areas like provocations – the ballistic missile test, I think it was on the 4th and 9th of this month, if I remember rightly?
NK News: Yes, that’s right.
Ramesh Thakur: Anything that worsens the East Asian geopolitical security environment has a direct bearing on the broader strategic environment in which Australia lives and inhabits. And therefore, that’s something that we have our own judgment on, which happens to agree with the United States.
Now, of course, the United States is Australia’s primary guarantor, so U.S. perspectives, U.S. analyses, U.S. intelligence assessments, all these are relevant to making Australia’s decision. But I think it is overly simplistic to say Australia just follows the United States on these issues.
NK News: What do you make of them returning back to this at this time?
Ramesh Thakur: Well, we don’t know. We don’t know how much of that is a reflection of internal politics in North Korea, a need to demonstrate that they have the capability. We don’t know the extent to which it is sending a signal to the United States, that if you walk away from negotiations then we return to a series of testings again.
I believe in this case it didn’t exceed their own borders, for example. So if it was a signal, it was a very measured signal rather than the most provocative action that they could have taken.
But clearly, there are differences of opinion as to what happened in Hanoi, what was the cause of the breakdown.
And there are differences of opinion within the U.S. administration – the National Security Adviser has been much more harshly critical of the tests, whereas President Trump says, “well, it’s not a showstopper, we don’t think it matters all that much” sort of thing. So we’ll just have to wait and see where we go forward.
As I said earlier, we all acknowledge that, one way or the other, we are going to have to talk to them, engage with them. How we do that without acknowledging and accepting and legitimizing their nuclear weapon status, that I think is a diplomatic challenge.
NK News: It’s been a little over three months since the Hanoi summit, how do you think things will progress from here?
Ramesh Thakur: Well, I think the main action at the moment will have to be with the South Korean government. They have retained channels of communication that are open still with the North Koreans. They obviously remain a good U.S. ally, and they are in contact and communication with them.
One difficulty, of course, is that in the meantime we also have bilateral issues between Japan and South Korea, and Japan is a big stakeholder in the North Korean dilemma also.
But I think we just have to keep trying, and keep trying, and keep trying. We don’t want to return to the fire and fury belligerent rhetoric of two years ago because of the risks of sliding into an escalation spiral that that entails.
We don’t want a nuclear war, whether by intent or by misperceptions, on the Korean Peninsula because everyone would be a loser on that.
And therefore, we just have to keep trying to engage and see if we can find a common vocabulary of what denuclearization and peace regime means, and then find an agreed pathway to achieve these.
The bigger threat is a nuclear war. Let’s try and manage that, keep things under control, and then see if we can find a common way forward
NK News: Can you describe Australia’s current role in the denuclearization of North Korea?
Ramesh Thakur: I think we are an interested bystander, and obviously we take soundings and do assume that different governments keep us informed. Let’s be clear; I have never been an Australian government official, or for that matter, any government official. I have never held that position.
I have been a UN official but not a national government official. So I’m speaking about my impressions of the Australian government policy, I’m not speaking for the government. I cannot do that. But we are interested.
I think, from an Australian point of view, it was interesting that one of the deal breakers in Hanoi seemed to have been the North Korean demand for sanctions relief – immediate, total, whatever they could get – which seems to suggest that sanctions are having an effect.
So I think the Australian policy remains that we should pursue the two-track approach; maintain not necessarily maximum pressure because that can be unduly harsh, but certainly maintain optimum pressure and seek areas and avenues of engagement so that we can discuss how to get out of this.
So I think it’s both. We remain very concerned about North Korean efforts to evade the UN sanctions.
I think back in March, the latest report by the UN Panel of Experts provided quite extensive detail of the program of activities designed to circumvent and evade sanctions, particularly through ship-to-ship transfers out in the seas, especially of refined petroleum products.
And in order to combat that, Australia has been active – I think we have sent so far four maritime patrol aircraft to Japan for deployment, for monitoring purposes, and I think we’ve also sent two naval vessels to the region for this. So we are part of that monitoring exercise to detect and block efforts at sanctions busting by the North Korean regime.
We remain very concerned about North Korean efforts to evade the UN sanctions
I think the Australian government would agree that there is good historical record of North Korea trying to cheat on its international obligations. That’s how it became a nuclear-armed state, to begin with, but certainly only a de facto state.
So these areas remain an item of concern. Where we can help with our operational assets and capabilities, we can be part of the broader international effort.
But Australia is not a big player in this, neither diplomatically nor militarily. So I think we would support action that the Americans and the South Koreans and the Japanese agree on.
And, of course, we would like to have a voice in some of these because we do have a stake, but essentially, I think it’s a supportive interested role, rather than a central player. That would be my understanding.
NK News: What could they do more of or less of?
Ramesh Thakur: I think our foreign policy bureaucracy in Australia (in Canberra) has been hollowed out with cuts in funding and resources and personnel to an extent that a lot of us outside government find troubling.
I think we need to reinvest in the foreign policy, both in its analytical capacity – to look at the issues, to assemble the facts, and to analyze them in terms of Australia’s own interests and regional interests – and then to engage in more active diplomacy.
I think it is certainly true that Australia was much more active in regional diplomacy, for example, going back some years now, when Gareth Evans was Foreign Minister.
But even after that, I think under the Howard government, Alexander Downer as Foreign Minister was also active. But that capacity seems to have been reduced and diminished. I think we need to regain that.
This is something that traditionally middle powers have been good at, in terms of a liberal international foreign policy, engaging with regional issues, promoting multilateral avenues for resolution of diplomatic challenges also.
That capacity and interest, I think, has waned to an extent that worries me as a student of foreign policy and as an Australian citizen.
We just have to keep trying, and keep trying, and keep trying
NK News: What risks does Australia face in supporting the U.S. to the extent it does right now on the DPRK maritime issues?
Ramesh Thakur: What risks? I don’t think there’s any particular risks to Australia in supporting the U.S. on this.
I think our risks are in a different context, and that’s a much bigger geopolitical challenge that all of us are having to face, and that is, the worsening relations between China and the United States. Because that puts our primary trading partner interests in collision course with our primary security partner interests, but that’s a different issue.
But on this issue, China has been quite cooperative as well, and China is concerned about North Korea’s actions because it doesn’t want volatility and instability, let alone conflict, right on its doorstep. It wants to focus still on China’s development.
So I don’t think there’s any risks to us in taking any part in this North Korea thing. I don’t see that Australia is likely to be under direct threat from any North Korean developments in the foreseeable future, at least. But long term, we don’t know.
So no, I don’t think there are any risks as such. I think the risks are if things fall apart. So, risks arise from the failure of existing diplomatic efforts rather than being part of that.
NK News: Do you think monitoring illicit maritime activities is enough right now, on Australia’s role?
Ramesh Thakur: No, because as I said, I would like to have that reinforced by diplomatic activism and much more. Because this is something that the regional actors should be engaged in, whether it’s through regional structures or whether it’s through bilateral efforts/multinational efforts.
But on the maritime side, I think our capability is modest. And while we are part of the Pacific, we are down in the south and it is a fair distance away. So within our capabilities, I think we are doing something as part of the effort.
I would think that it’s much more important for the political message of support for other like-minded countries in resolving this challenge, rather than for the military contribution it makes.
That’s not to understate the military contribution, but I think the larger importance of Australia’s involvement is still the diplomatic message that, yes, we are part of the international effort, this is an issue that concerns us, we share the concern with the Americans and the South Koreans and the Japanese, and we want to do something about it.
NK News: In your talk yesterday, you discussed nuclear disarmament and the NPT, and the Nuclear Ban Treaty as a permanent normative framework. Could you tell us a bit more about what you discussed and how that could apply to solving the North Korea denuclearization crisis?
Ramesh Thakur: Sure. We have a strange situation where, for the first time, we have two global treaties for regulating international nuclear behavior; the long-established NPT which observes its 50th anniversary of coming into force next year at the Review Conference, and the 2017 Ban Treaty, which was signed by approximately two-thirds of UN member states, every one of which is a member in good standing of the NPT as a non-nuclear weapons state.
So for most countries, not only is there no clash between the two treaties, the Ban Treaty represents, in fact, a completion of the Article Six disarmament agenda under the NPT.
However, all the nuclear-armed states, not just the NPT but non-NPT nuclear states also (Israel, Pakistan, India, and North Korea, going West to East), and the 30-odd umbrella states in Europe (the NATO allies), and the Pacific (Japan, South Korea, and Australia) oppose the treaty.
And if you look not just at the number of states, but at the composition of the countries that are opposed to it, and look at their population and geopolitical weight and economic weight, then that two-thirds number of states becomes misleading because the heavyweights are opposed to the treaties.
We don’t want the free-for-all. We don’t want a nuclear arms race
So the challenge for us is how to bridge the gap between the two. And that is a particular challenge for the Asia-Pacific, for an interesting reason which most non-Asians don’t realize.
In Europe, because of NATO, you had overwhelming opposition. In Latin America and Africa, they don’t have any umbrella allies, they want disarmament. There’s overwhelming support for the Ban Treaty.
In Asia, on the other hand, we actually have the deepest split of any continent because there is majority support for the Ban Treaty, but significant pockets of opposition to the Ban Treaty by the nuclear-armed states and some of the allies. And therefore, from our point of view, from the APLN, the imperative to bridge the gap is much more urgent and important in Asia than it is in other countries.
And this is most striking in the case of Japan, as one of the panelists, Professor Suzuki from Nagasaki University pointed out. In Japan, the government opposed the treaty but there’s overwhelming public support for the Ban Treaty. We get similar divisions in Australia.
I haven’t followed South Korea, I don’t think it’s quite as acute, but it is sharpest in Japan. And that, as I said, is a microcosmic reflection of the broader Asian division between supporters of the Ban Treaty and opponents of the Ban Treaty. So it’s a major challenge that we have to look at somehow.
NK News: What can Asia-Pacific countries do to reinvigorate the regional and global nuclear arms control?
Ramesh Thakur: Get angry. Gareth Evans said at a session yesterday, we have to make sure that we make the governments frightened enough to start doing something. There is an element of complacency.
We think this is a problem that disappeared with the ending of the Cold War. And suddenly, the last two years, we’ve discovered, no actually, this is not a problem that faded with the end of the Cold War.
Not only is it very much alive, it’s coming back into focus because all existing arms control agreements seem to be crumbling. And with the end of New START in 2021, if they fail to renew it, for the first time in decades, there will not be a single arms control agreement regulating Russian and American nuclear weapons.
And we don’t want the free-for-all. We don’t want a nuclear arms race. There are signs of that happening already with the Russians and the Americans.
There are risks, as we heard yesterday from Zhao Tong from China, there are risks that China might get sucked into that. If China gets sucked into that, I think it’s a fairly safe prediction that India will become concerned because the primary driver of India’s nuclear policy is China.
But if India gets concerned and does something in response, then we know that Pakistan will follow, because, for Pakistan, its nuclear weapon policy is very much India-specific – focused just on one potential enemy, and that’s India.
It doesn’t make the job of any national security planner any easier to have all these complicated factors
Another interesting illustration of a fundamental change from the Cold War era when all nuclear weapons issues were more or less East-West; NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact, U.S- led, Soviet Union-led.
That dyadic relationship has now been transformed into interlinked nuclear chains so that changes in the nuclear posture and deployment practices, and doctrine of any one nuclear-armed state can set in motion cascading effects all the way down the line.
And remember, one of the factors that led to the American suspension of the INF treaty, which contributed to the stabilization of Europe for three decades, one of the factors that led them to walk away from that was, at the time they negotiated, China was not a factor for them.
Now, 90-95% of Chinese missiles are in the INF prohibited range of 500-5,500 km. And so they are suddenly waking up to the fact that we may be putting ourselves at a strategic disadvantage vis-à-vis China in the contest for primacy in the Pacific, that this is not just a European issue.
But as for the NATO allies, it is only a European issue and so they are very upset. Of course the United States has a global chain of interests, but if they are to start deploying land-based missiles in Asia, as again Zhao Tong pointed out, given the domestic opposition in the Asian publics to this, one possible way for them to change the domestic opinion and climate would be to manufacturer a China threat.
And then the public opinion may change and say, “okay, we want American missiles to protect us from the China threat.” And then, of course, again, China will have to respond, and then you go back to India and Pakistan.
So it’s a much more dangerous, fluid, with many moving parts nuclear equation. And then, of course, you have North Korea as part of that as well.
It doesn’t make the job of any national security planner any easier to have all these complicated factors to take care of it.
NK News: It sounds like, from what you described, that North Korea doesn’t play a huge part in this mess.
Ramesh Thakur: It does in East Asia. We recently had the military clash between India and Pakistan, and as I was saying in the session yesterday, this is the first time in history that any one nuclear-armed state has launched a missile strike deep inside the territory of another nuclear-armed state.
It’s also the first time that two nuclear-armed states have engaged in an aerial dogfight between their two air forces.
Those are dangerous portents, especially when you remember that in the India-Pakistan context, they are not even separated by the Atlantic Ocean as Russia and the United States are.
So the warning time within which they have to decide whether to launch their nuclear weapons or not is reduced to four minutes or something like that. That’s not long enough to make an informed decision whose consequences may destroy the world.
North Korea has, by our best estimate, anything between 15-60 nuclear weapons. Sixty is the maximum, I think, at the moment – and I’m not sure that most people would accept even that. India and Pakistan, they both have about 150 each and they are well advanced in diversifying the platforms into the triad of land, air, and sea-based.
Pakistan is investing in tactical nuclear weapons, which means, in a crisis situation weapons have to be deployed to the forward edge of the battlefield, and the decision to launch them has to be delegated in advance to the battlefield commander. So, I think we have concerns about all of these, and of course U.S.-China and U.S.-Russia.
Again, the strategic debate is dominated by the Europeans and the Americans (North Americans if you want to include Canada also) and of course, 90% of nuclear weapons are held by the Russians and Americans. But there is still 10%, which is quite a lot.
None of us are going to survive… if the whole world is blown up by nuclear weapons
And if you get away from the numbers and the consequences of that significant use, four of the five potential nuclear flashpoints are actually in Asia and the Pacific – U.S.-China, Korea, China-India, India-Pakistan and the fifth, of course, is Russia-U.S. So four of the five potentially nuclear flashpoints are in our region. This is now the new center of gravity for nuclear ground zero.
As I said, most analysts are Americans and Europeans, they are focused on their face, but we are not Americans, we are not Europeans, we are Asians and Pacific. And for us, there are different dynamics at work, different conflict rivalries, and we need to take ownership of these challenges and provide leadership.
So I go back to what I said earlier on, I think this is where Australia can play a more meaningful role by using its good connections to all sides to promote reconciliation, nuclear arms control and disarmament, consistent with the legitimate security needs of all actors, but also the region overall, and of international security, because none of us are going to survive individually if the whole world is blown up by nuclear weapons.
That is a frightening thing that we have to communicate to other governments. There are only two existential threats we face; climate change and nuclear weapons. And a bomb can kill us a lot faster and a lot sooner. So that’s something we have to alert governments and people to, to make them do something about it.
NK News: I’m quite curious about your position as the Assistant Secretary-General back in the 90s. Could you let us know if you could remember anything, what working on North Korea issues at the time was like?
Ramesh Thakur: Well, North Korea has been under UN sanctions for a very long time, going back to the collapse of the Agreed Framework and the Six-Party Talks. When North Korea pulled itself out of the NPT back in 2003, and then the first test comes about in 2006, the UN builds sanctions.
So the history of the UN engagement is a series of progressively tougher sanctions with monitoring efforts (with the Panel of Experts and the various actors), and progressively greater buy-in into the sanctions regimes by all the relevant stakeholders, including Russia and China.
Under the UN system, it’s very difficult to know how to deal with North Korea without conceding implicit recognition of its status as a nuclear weapon-possessing state. I think that UN sensitivity has eased with the fact that the South Koreans and the Americans have now had a series of summit-level meetings.
So that worry about, “are we going to give them de facto recognition” becomes less relevant because the stakeholders are themselves now doing that. And now I see in the papers today that maybe the Japanese Prime Minister may look for a summit meeting with the North Korean leader also, whereas the Japanese, if I remember right, were very unhappy at the original summit diplomacy by South Korea and by the United States.
They felt it was recognizing North Korea and they didn’t want to do that. And that’s a legitimate concern. On the other hand, the reality is that particular proliferation train left Pyongyang Central back in 2006, if not already in 2003. So we have to deal with the real world without implying that we like what they have done.
The bigger threat is a nuclear war. Let’s try and manage that, keep things under control, and then see if we can find a common way forward.
We don’t want a nuclear war… on the Korean Peninsula because everyone would be a loser
Maybe we need to look at old proposals, for example, for a Northeast Asia nuclear weapons-free zone. What will that mean for the Americans? What will that mean for the U.S-ROK alliance? What does that mean for the Japan-U.S. alliance?
And what role will China and Russia have? Maybe as co-guarantors, is that acceptable? You look at the Budapest Memorandum with regard to the Ukraine, and again you think, “well, big powers can break their international commitments” whether it’s Russia in Ukraine, whether it’s the United States with the Iran nuclear deal. And there is no real penalty for them other than reputational cost – damage to their reputation.
So there are problems, but nonetheless, as I said, one way or the other, a peace regime for the Korean peninsula has to be built around denuclearization of the whole peninsula.
And the option of a nuclear weapons-free zone, which by definition is regional, is something we may want to look at, and modify and adapt existing precedents and models from the South Pacific, from Southeast Asia, from Africa, from Latin America, from Central Asia, and modify them to the specific geopolitical circumstances and drivers of Northeast Asia.
NK News: South Korea, in order to try to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table, offered $8 million in aid through the UN. What do you think of this move? Do you think it’s the right way to bring North Korea back?
Ramesh Thakur: Well, we know that they have major economic problems – scarcity issues, a shortage of hard currency. If economic inducements, alongside maintenance of international pressure, helps to move them forward, that’s well and good.
But we need to be careful of not falling into the trap of just giving more money each time they break their pledge. How many times can you buy the same dead horse from the same seller again, and again, and again? “But this time we’ll do better.”
A Japanese colleague friend of mine uses the argument in terms of the Lucy dilemma in the Charlie Brown cartoon strip…Lucy holds the football for Charlie Brown to come and kick it, and every time he comes to kick she pulls the ball away and he falls flat on his face. And she says, “look, this time I promise I won’t take it away, please have another go.”
NK News: Where do you think Australia-DPRK or Australia-Korean peninsula relations will go on from here, or how do you hope they will turn out?
Ramesh Thakur: Well, at a time when very few Western countries, particularly from within the allies, have direct diplomatic relations and presence in North Korea, one way for Australia to be useful might be to reconsider whether we should have an embassy presence once again in Pyongyang and offer that as a channel.
We’ve just heard, for example, during the Trump visit to Japan, Japan’s offer of possibly mediating between the United States and Iran. Japan could not do that if they didn’t have diplomatic relations with Iran.
So, is that something that will be seen as a reward, or is that something that will give Australia an entry point from which to take some diplomatic initiatives?
Those are the sorts of issues that I think any government and foreign service bureaucracy should think through and weigh the options and the benefits and potential risks and costs, and then make a decision. Maybe they are doing that already. As I said, I’m not an official so I don’t know.
But we know we have to stay engaged, and we know we have to be creative and think outside the box so that we don’t fall into the Albert Einstein definition of insanity, just doing the same thing over and over again and just hoping for a better result next time.
That hasn’t worked. We have to find some way forward and it might be worth trying, as I said, creative out-of-box thinking
One way for Australia to be useful might be to reconsider whether we should have an embassy presence once again in Pyongyang
Australia has, in its history, pockets of periods of diplomatic activism. Well, this is certainly one big issue for the region and we have some long-established credentials to take part in active middle power diplomacy, as part of what Gareth Evans calls “good international citizenship.”
I think we tend to fall into the trap of a false choice between bilateralism and multilateralism. No country has the luxury of choosing one or the other. This is a world that is very interdependent. For some things, we have to work through the multilateral system, for global norms – health is a very good example. We have to follow norms that are set by the World Health Organization.
If you don’t, there are consequences. So, similarly I think certain issues are best done through multilateral channels, but at the same time, we have to pursue bilateral efforts as well. And they have to be reconciled and in harmony. They can be in tension, but most of the time they are not, they’re complementary.
Edited by James Fretwell and Oliver Hotham
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
What does Australia’s relationship with North Korea look like? “Non-existent,” says Ramesh Thakur, Emeritus Professor at the Australian National University Crawford School of Public Policy.
This may not come as a surprise today, given Australia’s vocal role in enforcing international sanctions on North Korea and strong calls for denuclearization. As