Australia has become the latest target for North Korea as the hermit kingdom issued a nuclear strike warning against Canberra.

Pyongyang has threatened to attack Australia if it continues to toe the line of the US in geopolitical policies.

"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 [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]," read a dispatch from the reclusive nation's mouthpiece Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) quoting a spokesman from the foreign ministry.

"The Australian foreign minister had better think twice about the consequences to be entailed by her reckless tongue-lashing before flattering the US," the statement added.

The Stalinist state's threat comes just after Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Canberra would not hesitate to place more sanctions on the isolated country if it does not scale down its weapons programme. The Australian minister cautioned a nuclear-armed North Korea would directly pose a "serious threat" to her nation.

Clearly undeterred by the North's belligerence, Bishop responded by saying the remarks highlighted the need for tougher measures against the Kim Jong-un regime.

"The Australian foreign minister had better think twice about the consequences to be entailed by her reckless tongue-lashing before flattering the US," Bishop said on Sunday (23 April), reiterating that the North abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. She also called on China, a key trading partner and political ally of North Korea, to act strongly against the country.

Kim Jong-un north korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il-sung in PyongyangReuters