Shorten and Wong visit Korean demilitarised zone amid high tensions

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong have visited the frontline of the acute tensions on the Korean peninsula to show bipartisan Australian resolve against Kim Jong-un's nuclear provocations.

Mr Shorten and Senator Wong paid a visit to the famous demilitarised zone on Tuesday as part of a trip to South Korea and Japan.

Being at the DMZ, along which North Korea has positioned thousands of artillery tubes and rockets that could devastate Seoul if conflict breaks out, "reinforces that sense of the immediate risk for South Korea", Senator Wong said afterwards.

"First hand, you get a difference sense of the immediacy of the challenge and the scale of the challenge," she said.

She said South Koreans, used to living with such tensions, were "going about their lives normally" even while the political leaders worked to help shape the international response needed to pressure Pyongyang back to the negotiating table.

Senator Wong said there was "strong bipartisanship" between Labor and the Turnbull government on how to handle North Korea, with both believing that the current sanctions needed to be given time to work and that diplomatic and economic pressure could force the Kim regime back to the negotiating table.

Many seasoned experts believe, however, that the North will not at this stage give up its nuclear program.

The North Koreans played propaganda music through loudspeakers when they saw Mr Shorten.

"It really struck home that more than 60 years since the Korean War, this is an unfinished conflict in every sense," Mr Shorten said of his visit to the DMZ.

This story Shorten and Wong visit Korean demilitarised zone amid high tensions first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.