• Hannah Phillips

Australia and America are Joined at the Hip says Turnbull


On Friday the Prime Minister announced that, if America was attacked by North Korea, Australia would honour its ANZUS commitment and go to the aid of the US.


There was no indication of what Australia would do if President Trump launched a pre-emptive strike on Pyongyang.

However several commentators, including the former chief of the army, Professor Peter Leahy, have called on the Prime Minister to seek the approval of Parliament before engaging in a bloody war on the Korean Peninsula.

“I think we need to perhaps take a deep breath and ... run as quickly and as hard as we can down the diplomatic and the economic options, because it’s a pretty horrid thought to think that in the space of just a few days — a week or more — we could be at war,” he said.

“It’s going to look bloody ugly.

“I think it would move very quickly to an exchange of artillery.

We know the North Koreans have artillery close up against the demilitarisation zone in range of

Seoul.”

Industry Minister, Senator Arthur Sinodinos, supported the Prime Minister’s statement saying that the extent of the obligation under ANZUS was for the Australian government to consult with the US administration before taking a decision on military intervention.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was reported on ABC news this week as saying “conservatives had learnt nothing about the ANZUS alliance from the Iraq debacle”.

CNN reported yesterday that the North Korean military was undertaking the final preparations for a launch of four missiles to land in the vicinity of Guam.

In a statement last week General Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People’s Army, said the plan to fire “four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets ... to signal a crucial warning to the US” would be ready by “mid-August.”

Over the weekend Japan began to deploy Patriot interceptor missiles as part of a self defence shield designed to stop Korean missiles from landing in Japanese territory.

Sim Tack, a senior analyst for private intelligence firm Stratfor, told CNN the Japanese batteries are designed to protect the area where they are deployed, “[they are] not meant to shoot missiles out of the sky as they pass over Japan at high altitude.

“So, unless those North Korean missiles were to fall short, the Patriots shouldn’t have a function to serve in this particular case,” he said.

The South Korean government is taking the threats from North Korea seriously.

Defense Minister Song Young-moo warned the country’s armed forces “to maintain full readiness” to “immediately punish with powerful force” any action against the South.

“Recently, North Korea made its habitual absurd remarks that it will turn Seoul into a sea of fire and that it will strike near Guam,” Song said, according to ministry officials.

“North Korea raising tension [on the Peninsula] is a serious challenge against the South Korean - US alliance and the international community.”

The world will have to wait and see whether North Korea launches its missiles at Guam this week and whether President Trump responds.

If he does the Australian government will have some difficult decisions to make.

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Image Source - The Odyssey Online


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