Australia needs a missile defence system against North Korea, says a national security expert

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting the deploying the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) at the Seoul Railway Station on July 13, 2016 in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/ Getty Images.

Former national security adviser Andrew Shearer, who worked for former prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard, says Australia has to “get much more serious” about the threat of North Korea and should be thinking “about missile defence for deployed forces”.

It comes amid rising tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear program.

Shearer told Fairfax Media that North Korea’s missile development has been accelerating so rapidly that failure to act now could see the threat “become very real over the next decade”.

Hi comments follow a warning from the North on Monday, that if Australia “persists in following the US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and remains a shock brigade of the US master, this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of the DPRK”.

Shearer says Australia should consider systems like the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) or the US PAC-3 Patriot system.

Doing so would see Australia join other nations with a missile defence system, including France, the United Kingdom, Japan, Israel and Russia.

Australia foreign minister Julie Bishop has not backed down after the North’s threat, saying it “further underlines the need for the regime to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs” and that the North Korean government “should invest in the welfare of its long-suffering citizens, rather than weapons of mass destruction”.

This week, the US military started moving parts of the controversial THAAD defense system to a deployment site in South Korea amid high tensions over North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs.

The SMH has more.

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