North Korea threatened a nuclear strike against Australia for the country's alliance with the United States. North Korea's state news agency (also known as the KCNA) quoted a foreign ministry spokesman, "spouting a string of rubbish against the DPRK over its entirely just steps for self-defense."
"If Australia persists in following the US moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and remains a shock brigade of the US master, this will be a suicidal act of coming within the range of the nuclear strike of the strategic force of the DPRK..."Richard Marles, Labor's defense spokesman, today said North Korea's threat to Australia was a matter of enormous concern, according to The Guardian. The Pyongyang spokesman warned Julie Bishop that she'd better think about the consequences of her "reckless tongue-lashing" and to reconsider siding with the United States, according to The Guardian.
"... Think twice about the consequences to be entailed by her reckless tongue-lashing before flattering the US."The leader of the DPRK then went on to accuse Australia of "spouting a string of rubbish," according to The Guardian.
"The present Government of Australia is blindly and zealously toeing the US line... "In response to the comments, Julie Bishop said Pyongyang's threat "underlines the need for the regime to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs."
"These present a grave threat to its neighbors, and if left unchecked, to the broader region including Australia."Bishop added the North Korean government should invest in the welfare of its citizens.
"The North Korean Government should invest in the welfare of its long-suffering citizens, rather than weapons of mass destruction."
Could North Korea Strike Australia?There are concerns that the reclusive country is also trying to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile which could hit targets as far away as northern Australia or the west coast of the United States.
Pyongyang has poured huge resources into developing its nuclear and missile arsenals.The inflexibility of force and lack of leadership and motivation among armies of totalitarian regimes may weaken the strength of Korea's Peoples Army, James Hardy, Asia Pacific editor of IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, told CNN in 2015.
North Korea reportedly already has missiles which are theoretically capable of hitting Japan and the US military base in Guam.
Professor John Blaxland stated that the possibility of a strike hitting Australia remained far from technically occurring, according to ABC News. Blaxland is currently acting head of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the Australian National University (ANU).
"The prospect of Australia being struck by a ballistic missile from North Korea remains remote... In addition, the prospect of them firing a nuclear weapon in a way that might affect South Korea or Japan, where Australians might reside, is still questionable."Blaxland said experts were skeptical of whether North Korea had the ability to detonate a nuclear weapon, as well as to successfully project one.
"That's more complicated than just in a test underground... its fairly sophisticated rocket science... The question is whether or not they will in the next couple of years reach the stage where they can miniaturize their nuclear weapons capability and put it on top of one of their ballistic missiles."According to Blaxland, experts vary on the time frame it could take for North Korea to become fully capable of projecting a nuclear weapon. Their educated guess is anywhere between two and four years.
North Korea Provocations And Nuclear CapabilitiesNorth Korea's state television aired chilling footage of the United States being hit by a nuclear bomb in a World War 3 simulation during their Day of the Sun festival. Thousands sat hypnotized in a grand theater while watching massive ballistic missiles crash onto a US city, yielding an ear-splitting blast as flames engulf America. The perfectly-timed performance ended with the people of North Korea roaring in unison, overwhelmed with emotion as a giant fiery mushroom cloud washed over the United States. The footage is unnerving considering North Korea's vice-foreign minister told BBC News that Pyongyang would continue to test missiles and would launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike if the country thought the US was planning an attack.
North Korea is prepping to celebrate another important cultural event that may raise eyebrows across the nation. On Tuesday, April 25, the reclusive North Korea will mark the 85th-anniversary of its Korean People's Army. Neighboring South Korea is bracing for possible provocations from the North, top officials were informed on Thursday by South Korea's acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn.North Korea says it has conducted five successful nuclear tests in the years of 2006, 2009, 2013, and in January and September 2016, according to BBC.
According to the New York Times, the North has shown themselves to be strategic in pacing its nuclear tests. This allows time for bomb creators to conduct a thorough and detailed analysis of the blasts and learn from mistakes. This is according to Siegfried S. Hecker, a Stanford professor who once directed the Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico, the birthplace of the atomic bomb.New nuclear testing by Pyongyang is of a concern due to the large concentration of military hardware amassed on both sides of the border.
"It is a situation where a lot of exercise equipment is amassed in North Korea and also a lot of strategic assets are situated on the Korean peninsula because of the South Korea-US military drills."When North Korea carried out their traditional Day of the Sun festivities, soldiers marched across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 105th anniversary since the birth of the founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-Sung.
[Featured Image by Wong Maye-E/AP Images]