Turnbull government stands by allies after North Korea threat

Posted October 16, 2017

However, speculation is now rising that the deployment of the United States carrier strike group and nuclear-powered submarine to the Korean Peninsula may provide a fresh trigger for action.

North Korea is reportedly moving missiles into position as American and South Korean forces prepare for joint drills.

Starting from Monday, the allies kick off a four-day joint naval exercise in the waters east and west of the peninsula.

As many as 40 navy vessels, including the Aegis destroyer and attack helicopters will be deployed. An Ohio-class guided-missile submarine, the USS Michigan, has already arrived at the southern port of Busan, carrying some 150 Tomahawk missiles.

Tensions in the region have constantly escalated in recent months with the North relentlessly expanding its nuclear and missile programmes.

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Some of North Korea's weapons tests this year coincided with key Chinese political events.

Trump has said all options-including military-are on the table to stop Kim, and the White House ruled out talks with Pyongyang. US President Donald Trump's continued threats of military action against Pyongyang if it does not tame its weapons ambitions have fuelled fears of conflict on the Korean peninsula.

Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho suggested last month that could include testing a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean.

In July, North Korea fired two ICBMs on steep trajectories into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan.

A joint US-South Korea military drill will be held from today through Friday, Yonhap reported, citing an unidentified military source who said Pyongyang was ready to fire missiles "any time".

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With the USA mulling military intervention in North Korea, Russia and China have been calling for restraint.

"Lately, Australia is showing unsafe moves of zealously joining the frenzied political and military provocations of the United States", the news agency added.

Some analysts suggested that North Korea might have been looking for the flawless time to maximize its impact of provocation, this time around when China holds the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party on Oct 18.

She told reporters yesterday that North Korea has sought in the past to embarrass China at times when the country is a focus of global attention.

Bishop said that the threat of war is now the greatest it has been in 60 years since the Korean War.

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