North America

Bishop visits tense Korean border

FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne have visited the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas, saying they are hopeful there will be no need for military action against North Korea over its weapons programs.

They made the comments after their visit to the Korean border village of Panmunjom. The two are in South Korea for talks with top officials.

Ms Bishop said North Korean border guards came out of their building and took many photographs of her and other Australian officials during their Panmunjom visit.

The North Koreans “seemed to have a great deal of interest in who we were and what we were doing,” she said.

It’s not unusual for North Korean soldiers to photograph or use binoculars to watch high-profile visitors at Panmunjom, which is inside the 248-kilometre-long heavily mined Demilitarised Zone that serves as a de facto border between the Koreas.

“It’s always a tense situation, I understand,” Ms Bishop said. “The Korean War is still…

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