Published:  12:12 AM, 13 November 2017

Australia to discuss North Korea, IS at Manila talks

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Sunday said he would discuss North Korea and Islamist terrorism as threats to regional stability, ahead of his arrival at an East Asia leaders' summit in the Philippines.

North Korea was a criminal regime and the single largest threat to the region, Turnbull told a televised news conference in Hong Kong. "They are very cunning operators," he said, urging a tightening of economic sanctions. Islamist terrorism in the southern Philippines is the other key security issue Turnbull aims to discuss with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila.

Australia said in Septe-mber it would send troops to train Philippines armed forces engaged in a 154-day battle with Islamic State fighters in the southern city of Marawi, in the country's biggest security crisis in decades. Turnbull stressed the importance of help by Indonesian Pres-ident Joko Widodo in def-using Islamist extremism.

-Reuters, Sydney

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