Despite calls from former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and some security experts to implement an anti-ballistic missile defence system, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has rejected the idea as “not really suitable”.
The calls come after rising tensions between North Korea and the US, sparked again after North Korea conducted a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has reversed the position he held in office and publicly said that Australia should look into adopting anti-missile countermeasures.
“Given North Korean developments, Australia would be well advised to begin analysing ballistic missile defence needs, available technologies and possible deployment feasibility for northern Australia” he said.
Turnbull has rejected these claims, saying that Australia is currently safe, and that de-escalation is a better strategy.
“That’s not really suitable for our situation but I can assure you we are constantly examining how we can ensure that Australians are safe,” he said.
“I do want to stress this, the answer in respect of North Korea is the denuclearisation of North Korea and for it to stop its reckless and provocative conduct.”
Mr Turnbull has echoed calls from US President Donald Trump for China to take action against North Korea.
“The nation with overwhelmingly the greatest leverage over North Korea is China. And so we look to China to bring North Korea to its senses” he said.
Australia’s role in the conflict with North Korea has been highlighted this week, with acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce confirming Australia would back the US in a war against North Korea.
“No one should ever go too far in testing the resolve of the United States of America,” Mr Joyce said in an interview on Sky News on Thursday.
“If North Korea was to deliver a warhead into the United States of America then the ANZUS alliance would be called in.”