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Turnbull highlights national security

AAP logoAAP 6/09/2016 Lauren Farrow

Calls for lone-wolf attacks on Australian landmarks by ISIS highlights the necessity of strong regional co-operation, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said as he heads into further rounds of talks with global leaders in Laos.

Mr Turnbull got the red carpet treatment as he arrived in the Laos capital of Vientiane on Tuesday afternoon off the back of talks at the G20 summit in China.

Speaking ahead of a bilateral meeting with his Singaporean counterpart on Tuesday evening, Mr Turnbull pointed to "two disturbing reminders" overnight that highlighted the need for leaders to focus on national security over the next few days.

Missile tests in North Korea overnight represented "continued, destabilising, dangerous and provocative conduct by the DPRK".

He also commented on a call by ISIS to attack Australians "wherever you find them" in a newsletter titled Rumiyah

"Kill them on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown, and Bondi. Kill them at the MCG, the SCG, the Opera House, and even in their backyards," it urged.

While Mr Turnbull said the capacity of ISIS was "much less than they proclaim them to be" Australia does need to be "very alert to the actions of these loan actors."

"Sharing of intelligence is more important than ever before," he told reporters.

"Counter-terrorism too is going to be a key focus of these meetings over the next few days."

Describing it as the "premier forum" to discuss issues of national and economic security in the region, Mr Turnbull said he was looking forward to having frank discussions.

During his time in Laos, Mr Turnbull said he would be having a bilaterial meeting with Japanese President Shinzo Abe, adding that the two countries retain a "warm and close" relationship after a Japanese bid to supply new submarines to Australia sank earlier this year.

While Mr Turnbull has talked up counter terrorism, Indonesia has previously flagged that it wanted to highlight the importance of unity between the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the issue of the South China Sea during the summits in Laos.

Australian National University defence and strategic expert Dr John Blaxland said the forum was a good opportunity for Australia to support ASEAN's push for a code of conduct (COC) in the contested waters - something which has been discussed for more than a decade but remains elusive.

Meanwhile Philippine President Duterte is trying to soothe tensions after America called off bilateral meetings following his remarks that US President Barack Obama was a "son of a bitch".

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