Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Could Australia be the target of a North Korean missile?

Leonid Petrov, a leading North Korean expert, said Australia could play a much better and more viable option in the crisis.

Dr Petrov, a visiting fellow at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, said it was obvious someone who served as US deputy assistant secretary of defence for nuclear and missile defence policy would recommend buying a US-made piece of equipment.

However, Dr Petrov said there was a cheaper option on the table.

“Australia can save a lot of money (and lives) by using its diplomatic channels and mediate a comprehensive peace deal, which North Korea is begging for since 1974,” he said.

North Korea missile crisis: Could Australia be targeted by Kim Jong-un? A PENTAGON adviser has warned Australia could be on the receiving end of Kim’s fury as experts say anything could happen.news.com.au  Debra Killalea@DebKillalea  2 Oct 17 

IT WAS a stunning warning that made Australia sit up and take notice.

Former Pentagon official Dr Brad Roberts said Australia needed to develop greater missile defences in the event of a North Korea missile strike.

Dr Roberts, who served as US deputy assistant secretary of defence for nuclear and missile defence policy between 2009 and 2013, also warned Australia had no say in Kim Jong-un’s decisions.

“Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t really get to choose whether or not North Korea threatens it — it’s the choice that the North Korean leader,” he told the ABC.

“His objective is to make us fearful so that our leaders will not stand up to his threats and coercion.”

But just how much of a target is Australia, and are we likely to feel the wrath of Kim?

CAN A NORTH KOREAN MISSILE HIT AUSTRALIA?

Experts warn anything is possible and hope this scenario remains an unlikely possibility.

It’s no secret that North Korea has ramped up its missile technology in recent years and its missiles are now capable of reaching greater distances than ever before.

The Musudan has a range of 3500km, and the KN-17 ICBM has a missile range of 5500km.

The KN14, which was tested in July this year, has a range of 6700km while the KN-08 which hasn’t been tested yet has a range of 11,500km.

To put that in perspective, the US military base of Guam is 3402km from Pyongyang.

Darwin is 5747km from Pyongyang, Sydney 8515km, Melbourne 8763km, Alice Springs 7023km, Brisbane 7914km, Perth 7955km, Adelaide 8325km and Hobart 9359km.

Professor of International Security and Intelligence Studies Professor John Blaxland told news.com.au said Kim’s missiles could reach Australia, but “only just”.

“It is increasingly evident that North Korean missiles could strike parts of Australia, particularly Northern Australia,” he said.

Nuclear disarmament campaigner John Hallam said he believed a strike on Australia remained a low, yet, terrifying possibility.

He said Kim had bigger targets in sight other than Australia, including Seoul, the strategic bases of Guam and Okinawa and even the west coast of the US.

However, if Kim decided to attack Australia, Mr Hallam said he doubted the capitals would be first in line.

“Pine Gap has to be among the highest priority nuclear targets in the world as it performs nuclear command and control functions among many other things,” he said.

“It’s a satellite down-station from which any NK launch would be transmitted to the US.”

While Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been attempting to bring the temperature down on the crisis, Mr Hallam said the Prime Minister’s comments about being joined at the hip to the US were unhelpful.

“Malcolm Turnbull’s comments are stupid,” he said. “Comments like this make us a target. It’s asking for trouble. This is painting a target on our backside.”

Mr Hallam said the Prime Minster aligning Australia with the US placed Australians in jeopardy.

“The government must do its utmost to keep Australian cities off Kim’s ‘map of death’.”

CAN NORTH KOREA DO IT?

Prof Blaxland, who is the director of Australian National University’s Southeast Asia Institute, said the reality was North Korea’s technology had improved.

“The technology for ballistic missile defence has been getting better and better to the point where today there are emerging a couple of viable and not altogether expensive options to significantly upgrade our ability to respond defensively in the event of a ballistic missile attack,” he said.

Mr Hallam, however, said he hoped Australia wasn’t high on North Korea’s hit list.

“As to whether or not an NK missile can reach Australia, nobody is really sure,” he said.

“Basically, if an NK missile can reach the west coast of the US, it can reach Australia.

“The questions will then be, ‘How many missiles does Kim have that are capable of reaching that far, and how will he prioritise their use?’”

WHAT DEFENCE DO WE HAVE?

Prof Blaxland said the US had good defence systems in place.

“The United States has installed very expensive ground based missile defence systems in Alaska to respond to the threat of intercontinental ballistic missiles,” he said.

“That option is simply too expensive and the continent too sparsely populated for Australia to contemplate seriously.”

Prof Blaxland said sea-based missile defence is not only achievable but not inordinately expensive………

WHAT OPTIONS ARE LEFT?

Leonid Petrov, a leading North Korean expert, said Australia could play a much better and more viable option in the crisis.

Dr Petrov, a visiting fellow at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, said it was obvious someone who served as US deputy assistant secretary of defence for nuclear and missile defence policy would recommend buying a US-made piece of equipment.

However, Dr Petrov said there was a cheaper option on the table.

“Australia can save a lot of money (and lives) by using its diplomatic channels and mediate a comprehensive peace deal, which North Korea is begging for since 1974,” he said.

debra.killalea@news.com.au  

Advertisements

October 2, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, weapons and war

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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: