Tens of thousands of people would be instantly killed if North Korea targeted one of Australia’s capital cities with a nuclear missile.
The rogue nation detonated a 100 kiloton bomb under a mountain over a weekend, their sixth nuclear test, just days after launching a missile over Japan’s main islands.
North Korea has also threatened to send a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam, escalating tensions between the regime and much of the Western world.
If North Korea were able to design a missile capable of carrying a nuclear bomb similar in power to the one detonated on Sunday, it would kill an estimated 126,000 people if dropped over Sydney.
North Korea has conventional missiles permanently trained on the South Korean capital Seoul, as well as what the regime says is a sophisticated hydrogen bomb that can be fitted to an intercontinental missile that can reach the US.
The hypothetical estimations predicted a large part of Sydney’s city would be flattened if the bomb landed on Pitt Street Mall.
St Mary’s Cathedral, Wynyard Station and Town Hall would all be destroyed, along with 126,000 lives, Nine News reported.
The publication said more people would be killed from radiation poisoning – which could affect up to 90 percent of people from Kirribilli to Balmain and the University of Sydney.
People would suffer third degree burns as a result of thermal radiation radius.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, there would be a death toll of 81,000.
If dropped at Melbourne’s Town Hall, the bomb would destroy everything from Flinders Street Station to Little Bourke Street.
Further north in Brisbane, more than 30,000 people would die, according to the predictions.
Australia is prioritising diplomatic and economic solutions over military alternatives when it comes to North Korea, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop insists.
At an Australia-Japan event at the Australian National University on Wednesday, Ms Bishop said a peaceful resolution to the crisis and the use of sanctions were critical.
‘It would be catastrophic for there to be an outbreak of military intervention in response to a conflict on the Korean peninsula,’ she told reporters.
‘Sanctions will bite, and bite hard,’ she said.
Responding to remarks by Russian President Vladimir Putin that sanctions were counterproductive, Ms Bishop said she was ‘not at all’ disheartened.
‘In fact, the tough comprehensive sanctions are yet to have an impact,’ she said.
All five permanent members of the UN Security Council are considering additional sanctions across numerous sectors in response to North Korea’s sixth illegal, and most powerful, nuclear test last Sunday.
Ms Bishop downplayed the notion that bombastic rhetoric from US President Donald Trump against the rogue regime was only fanning the flames.
‘The president has adopted forthright and frank language but the policy remains the collective strategy of a number of nations,’ she said.
Responsibility for the crisis lay unquestionably with North Korea.
Ms Bishop said Australian and Japanese voices in the region were especially important in maintaining the international rules based order in the face of regional challenges.
‘The case for the international rules based order needs to be made and remade at a time when alternative approaches… are on the rise,’ she said.
Japanese ambassador Sumio Kusaka said the current climate in the Asia-Pacific was serious and demanded close attention.
‘Our strong relationship is more important than ever to maintaining a stable and prosperous region,’ he said.
‘It is absolutely necessary to exert maximum pressure and impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea to further prevent dangerous and reckless action.’
Japan is also one of Australia’s largest trading partners, and its fourth largest source of foreign direct investment.