Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd want Australia to develop a missile defence to protect against North Korea

A US M270 Multiple Launch Rocket System fires an MGM-140 Army Tactical Missile during a US and South Korea joint missile drill aimed to counter North Korea’s intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 5, 2017 in East Coast, South Korea. Photo: South Korean Defense Ministry via Getty Images.

Former Australian prime ministers Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd believe its time for Australia to reevaluate its defences against nuclear-armed North Korea, following escalating tensions between the Hermit State and the

Both former PMs — one Liberal, the other Labor — have called on the Turnbull government to develop a missile defence shield in response to North Korea’s advancing nuclear program.

“Of course we should be able to defend ourselves if they have missiles that can reach Australia,” Abbott told Fairfax Media on Thursday. “We should be urgently investing in upgraded missile defences.”

His comments echo that made by Kevin Rudd last month when he also told Fairfax that Australia should be considering deploying such defence needs in northern Australia.

Their calls for heightened defence measures come in response to the heated exchange between North Korea and US president Donald Trump.

Trump issued a warning to North Korea on Tuesday, saying it was “best not make any more threats to the United States” or it would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen”, to which the North responded by threatening strikes on Guam.

While the Australian government has yet to indicate whether a missile defence system is being considered, foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop said on Wednesday that Australia was “not a primary target” for North Korea.

The SMH has more.

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