North Korea has described Australia’s involvement in war games between the United States and South Korea as a “suicidal act”.
Two dozen Australian defence personnel are taking part in a 10-day military exercise.
The annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise began on Monday and involves more than 17,000 American troops along with small contingents from Britain, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, New Zealand and the Netherlands.
The same exercises in 2016 provoked North Korea to conduct nuclear tests.
The Australians will work in the command and control post.
North Korea’s official news agency has condemned Australia’s involvement in an editorial.
“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 agency said, according to translations.
“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.”
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this month said Australia and the United States were “joined at the hip”, and pledged Australia would come to the aid of its ally if there was an attack by North Korea.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un has been briefed on military’s plans to launch missiles into waters near Guam as part of an effort to create “enveloping fire” near the US military hub in the Pacific.
Kim said North Korea would
conduct the planned missile launches
if the “Yankees persist in their
extremely dangerous reckless
actions on the Korean Peninsula
and its vicinity” and that the US
should “think reasonably and judge property” to avoid shame, the news agency said.
In an editorial published yesterday, the official North Korean newspaper Rodong Sinmun criticised the joint military exercise as an “expression of enmity,” adding that no one can guarantee “that the exercise will not lead to hostilities.” AAP