Last week, Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said that “if there is an attack on the US, the Anzus treaty would be invoked”, meaning Australia would come to the aid of the US.
“Not long after the Australian Prime Minister had stated that they would join in the aggressive moves of the US — even referring to Anzus which exists in name only — the Australian military announced that they would dispatch their troops to the aggressive nuclear exercises of the US,” said an unnamed spokesman from North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“This is a suicidal act of inviting disaster, as it is an illustration of political immaturity, unaware of the seriousness of the current situation,” the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency reported.
“Australia followed the US to the Korean war, the Vietnamese war and the ‘war on terrorism’, but heavy loss of lives and assets were all that it got in return.
“The Australian government had better devote time and energy to maintaining peace of its own country, instead of forgetting the lessons learned in the past and joining the US in the moves for nuclear war.”
On Monday night, Turnbull issued a short statement, calling on the world to “redouble” efforts against Pyongyang.
“North Korea has shown it has no regard for the welfare of its own population, no regard for the security and good relations with its neighbours and no regard for international law,” he said.
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“We call on all countries to redouble their efforts, including through implementation of agreed UN Security Council resolutions, to bring North Korea to its senses and end its reckless and dangerous threats to the peace of our region and the world,” he added.
The war of words comes ahead of the annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, which are scheduled to run from August 21 to August 31.
The exercise, which was first carried on in 1976, is the world’s largest computerised command and control implementation, involving 50,000 South Korean troops alongside 17,500 US troops in 2017.
North Korea regularly condemns the exercise as an act of aggression, but this year comes after Donald Trump threatened “fire and fury like the world has never seen”, following Pyongyang’s successful missile tests.
Earlier in the month, North Korea said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike Guam, site of a US military base.