Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says if North Korea continues its provocations, and chooses to start a war, it will be a suicide mission for the Hermit state.
In an interview with Nine’s A Current Affair last night, speaking of the North leader Kim Jong-un, Turnbull said: “If he starts a war the reality, however, is he will lose it instantly. It would be a suicide note on his part.
“What he is trying to do is intimidate his neighbours, intimidate South Korea, intimidate Japan, into giving him what he wants … intimidate the United States, in regards to these economic sanctions.”
Turnbull confirmed he has been talking to Japanese prime minster Shinzo Abe and repeated earlier calls to the Chinese that it had the most leverage to “bring that regime to its senses”.
In statements carried by state run news agency KCNA, Kim hailed the launch of the “ultra-modern rocket” which flew over Japan on Tuesday morning, and said it was “the first step of the military operation in the Pacific”.
Japan has since said it wants a new US missile defense system operational by 2023 as an added layer of defense to help counter North Korea’s missile advances.
Although the US has so far declined to do so, arguing the decision makes its missile defense system it plans to install much less capable of countering a growing North Korean threat.
The Aegis ballistic missile defense (BMD) system’s new SM-3 Block IIA defensive missiles can fly more than 2,000km and cost around $US30 million each.
Yesterday, US president Donald Trump said negotiations with the North were “not the answer”.
“The US has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!” he tweeted.
Although US secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said, “We’re never out of diplomatic solutions,” and that there was still room for diplomacy in dealing with North Korea.
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