North Korea has threatened Australia with “disaster” if continues to side with the US and forces the North to end its nuclear missile program and relinquish its weapons.
According to North Korea’s state-run media, KCNA, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said “Australia is showing dangerous moves of zealously joining the frenzied political and military provocations of the US against the DPRK while these provocations aggravate the situation of the Korean peninsula into a touch-and go phase.”
The spokesperson added: “Should Australia continue to follow the US in imposing military, economic and diplomatic pressure upon the DPRK despite our repeated warnings, they will not be able to avoid a disaster.”
The report published by KCNA over the weekend also specifically mentioned Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop and defence minister Marise Payne, who last week visited Seoul and pledged Australia’s support for South Korea.
“The Australian foreign minister personally expressed her support for the stand of the US to consider all options, including the use of force towards the DPRK, and turned up at Panmunjom on October 11 together with the Australian defence minister to condemn the DPRK during her visit to South Korea,” KCNA reported.
Bishop has reiterated previous reassurances that “Australia is not a primary target” for the North and its threats “only strengthen our resolve to find a peaceful solution”.
In August around 25 Australian defence personnel took part in the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise, a large-scale simulated military operation staged regularly by US and South Korean military forces.
Earlier that month, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said the nation would “come to the aid” of the US under the provisions of the ANZUS treaty if there was a military confrontation with North Korea.
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