Australian news, and some related international items

North Korea’s angry response to Australia participating in USA- South Korea war games

North Korea fires back at ‘suicidal’ Australia over war games,   PRIMROSE RIORDAN, Political reporter, Canberra, @primroseriordan 22 Aug 17

North Korea has attacked Malcolm Turnbull for sending Australian Defence Force personnel to join US-led war games, describing it as a “suicidal act”.

After being singled out by the North Korean regime, the Prime Minister issued a statement late yesterday staring down threats against Australia.

“North Korea has shown it has no regard for the welfare of its own population, no regard for the security and good relations with its neighbours and no regard for international law,” he said.

“We call on all countries to redouble their efforts, including through implementation of agreed UN Security Council resolutions, to bring North Korea to its senses and end its reckless and dangerous threats to the peace of our region and the world.”

North Korea has warned Australia against further aggression in response to the government’s commitment to the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian War Games, which began yesterday.

“Not long after the Australian Prime Minister had stated that they would join in the aggressive moves of the US — even referring to ANZUS which exists in name only — the Australian military announced that they would dispatch their troops to the aggressive nuclear exercises of the US,” said a spokesman from North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“This is a suicidal act of inviting disaster as it is an illustration of political immaturity unaware of the seriousness of the current situation.”

Defence Minister Marise Payne sent more than two dozen ADF members to join the 10-day war games between the US and South Korea.

Yesterday, defence analysts warned that Australia must “get used to” thuggish threats from the North Korean regime. The director of the International Security Program at the Lowy Institute, Euan Graham, said this would not be the last time Australia was threatened by Pyongyang, as Australia’s participation “matters” to the regime.

“Australia just isn’t used to being singled out, so it gets attention. But the North Koreans have no intention of attacking Australia, any more than they have an intention of taking on the US,” he told The Australian.

“I think their objective is to downscale the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise as far as ­possible. That’s Kim Jong-un’s ­priority — and why Australia’s small-scale involvement matters to them. We all need to take a leaf out of the South Koreans’ book on not over-reacting to North ­Korean threats.”

Australian National University professor of international ­security John Blaxland said although North Korea remained a threat, the comments should be taken “with a grain of salt”.

The computer-simulated exercise involves 17,500 US troops, down from 25,000 last year, 50,000 South Korean soldiers and defence personnel from Australia, Britain, Canada, Col­ombia, Denmark, The Netherlands and New Zealand.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis sought to calm speculation that the cut in numbers was due to rising tensions, saying it was the right number for the “exercise objectives”.

China, calling for the war games to be suspended, warned the drills could provoke a violent response from North Korea. On Sunday, Pyongyang’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper called the exercise “reckless” and said it could lead to an “uncontrollable” ­nuclear war.

South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported a defence official saying the games could play out a nuclear war scenario, as opposed to a conventional conflict, for the first time.

The decision to send an ADF delegation, which Senator Payne characterised as routine, came after Mr Turnbull pledged Australia would aid the US if it were attacked by the rogue state.

Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos has softened Mr Turnbull’s comments, saying under the ANZUS treaty consultation would occur and “we would work out from there what should happen”.

Mr Turnbull so far has rejected the idea of Australia acquiring a Terminal High Altitude Area Defence, the missile defence system South Korea was installing.

August 23, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: