Canberra, April 28 (IANS) Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday said it is an extremely tense time on the Korean peninsula but dismissed the idea of deploying an anti-missile system in the country.
“We have extensive arrangements with our allies, in particular with the US, but we do not deploy in Australia a missile defence system like the Thaad system that Washington is deploying in South Korea at the moment,” Turnbull said.
He said Australia’s responses would evolve as nuclear threats increase. He noted that North Korea had not yet carried out its threats of launching a nuclear attack, Efe news reported.
“What we are doing in terms of stopping North Korea is continuing our pressure on the regime through extensive… economic sanctions, which are designed to bring North Korea to its senses,” Turnbull said.
He said it was key for China to use its influence and leverage over the Kim Jong-un regime to calm tensions and stop its “reckless and dangerous conduct”.
Turnbull’s comments coincided with the release of an Australian Defence Force report that urges the military to develop a better understanding of ballistic missile defence and increase participation in high-intensity military drills with the US and South Korea.
North Korea warned Australia on April 23 that it could be the target of a nuclear weapons strike if it continued to “blindly” follow the US, after which authorities said Pyongyang posed a grave threat to the region.