Gulf remains in North Korean goals: Labor

Pat Griffiths
Penny Wong says it's important to continue economic pressure through sanctions on North Korea

There is a "gulf" between what North Korea is willing to deliver and what the world is demanding of the rogue regime, Labor warns.

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said Australia needs to keep up sanctions as early optimism of a rapprochement between the US and North Korea fades.

"We are seeing the gulf," Senator Wong told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

"Between what (North Korea) are currently prepared to put on the table and what is rightly expected of them by the US and the rest of the world."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Pyongyang last week but the meetings were later criticised by North Korean media as "regrettable" and they accused Washington of making "gangster-like" demands to pressure the country to abandon its nuclear weapons.

That followed the cautious optimism of a historic Singapore summit in June between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Senator Wong said the recent comments challenged goals for the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" of North Korea."

"That is why it is so important that we agree that, as Julie Bishop has said, and as the US has continued to say, it is so important to continue the economic pressure through the sanctions regime," she said.