Australia: US pushes to base missiles in Australia - PressFrom - Australia

AustraliaUS pushes to base missiles in Australia

01:16  05 august  2019
01:16  05 august  2019 Source:

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Australia would be invited to join the United States , Japan and South Korea in war-game drills shooting down North Korean missiles under a push by the US Congress. "It's very clear that the Americans want Australia to become more directly involved in missile defence work," Dr Davis said.

US wants to quickly deploy new missiles in Asia: US Def Sec. Govt to prepare National Population Within the next few weeks, the United States is expected to test a ground-launched cruise missile In Australia , Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will take part in talks with their Australian

US pushes to base missiles in Australia© AAP US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Foreign Minister Marise Payne. The federal government is under pressure to allow US ground-based missiles to be based in Northern Australia

The issue was discussed at this weekend's AUSMIN meetings between Australia's defence and foreign ministers and their US counterparts in Sydney.

The US is looking to counter Chinese expansion in the Asia Pacific region and one consideration is to deploy ground-based missiles in the Top End.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper has since told reporters he'd like to see ground-based arms stationed in Asia as a military deterrent amid what he perceives as "an era of great power competition".

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Other US bases in Australia are present and this list does not include ADF bases with US access. The US military has access to all major ADF training areas, northern Australian RAAF airfields, port facilities in Darwin and Fremantle, and highly likely future access[timeframe?] to an expanded Stirling

When asked about the prospect of US ground-based, non-nuclear missiles stationed in the north of Australia, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds kept their cards close to their chests.

"In regards to our regional engagement, let me also ensure and remind that for China and Australia, we see China as a vitally important partner," said Senator Payne.

Should the US develop weapons with a range of 5500km, southern China would be comfortably within range of a missile stationed in Darwin.

However, the port at Darwin is leased to a Chinese company and there are now demands from at least one federal MP for the lease to be terminated.

US pushes to base missiles in Australia© AP The US is aiming to counter growing Chinese military power in Asia. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said a request to base American missiles in Australia would take into account the "mutual benefit" to both countries.

Mr Pompeo also moved to reassure Australia the United States intended to continue strong engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The United States is a Pacific nation. We care deeply about what happens here and we are here to stay," he said.

"I want Australians to know, they can always rely on the United States of America."

The issue is set to be discussed when Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits the US next month to meet President Donald Trump.

With AAP

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