Australia North Korea warns AUKUS nuclear submarine pact could trigger 'nuclear arms race'
Australia to acquire nuclear submarines as part of new AUKUS defence pact
Australia, US and Britain have announced a far-reaching defence pact to counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific, hailed as the most significant in decades.Australia is set to acquire its first fleet of highly prized nuclear-powered submarines as part of a historic new defence pact proposed by Scott Morrison to Joe Biden and Boris Johnson to counter China's growing influence in the Indo-Pacific.
North Korea has slammed a new security pact between Australia, the US and the UK as "extremely undesirable and dangerous", warning it could trigger a "nuclear arms race" in the region.
Under the defence pact announced last week, known as AUKUS, the US will supply Australia with nuclear submarines,.
"These are extremely undesirable and dangerous acts which will upset the strategic balance in the Asia-Pacific region and trigger off a chain of nuclear arms race," an unidentified foreign ministry official told North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Why nuclear submarines offer key edge for Australian navy
A nuclear submarine fleet will offer Australia key military advantages as it faces a shifting security environment in the Indo-Pacific region, a security expert says. Malcolm Davis, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told nine.com.au today's announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Australia will join a new defence pact with the UK and US was "very good news".The security agreement - proposed as the AUKUS alliance - will also see Australia acquire its first fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. The new vessels, however, will not carry nuclear weapons.
The official said North Korea was closely examining the deal and would proceed with "corresponding counteraction" if it has "even the smallest negative effect on our country's safety".
US President Joe Biden revealed last week that the US would deliver a fleet of at least eight nuclear-powered submarines to the Royal Australian Navy.
Mr Biden stressed the submarines would be conventionally armed and will not be equipped with nuclear weapons.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison blamed the switch on a deteriorating strategic environment in the Indo-Pacific, a clear reference to China's massive military build-up that has gained pace in recent years.
Allies and enemies upset by AUKUS
The official said North Korea supports the views of China and other countries that the deal would destroy "regional peace and security and the international non-proliferation system and intensify arms races".
Taking the nuclear option
Good morning, early birds. China says Australia's new security pact with the UK and US could severely damage regional peace and intensify the arms race, and 70% of Australians over the age of 16 have now had their first COVID vaccine dose. It's the news you need to know, with Emma Elsworthy.AUKUS — our most significant security development since WWII, Morrison reckons — will see Australia become one of seven countries with nuclear submarines (US has 68, Russia 29, China 12, UK 11, France 8, and India 1). So why nuclear submarines? They can stay underwater for months and shoot missiles further (not that we’ve said we’ll put nuclear weapons on them).
"The current situation shows once again that [our] efforts to bolster national defence capabilities based on long-term perspectives should not be eased by even a bit," the official told KCNA.
The announcement triggered an angry reactionof a $90 billion contract for French majority state-owned Naval Group to build 12 conventional diesel-electric submarines.
Franceas a result of the pact.
The North Korean official made an apparent reference to the French complaints, saying that the United States was being accused of back-stabbing even by its allies.
"The US double-dealing attitude … erodes the universally accepted international norm and order and seriously threatens the world peace and stability," the spokesman said.
Malaysia warns AUKUS pact will spark nuclear arms race in Indo-Pacific
Malaysia's new Prime Minister has joined Indonesia in raising alarm bells about the military build-up in the region after speaking with Scott Morrison.On Saturday, Malaysia joined Indonesia in raising alarm bells about the military build-up in the region and the impact that the AUKUS pact, which includes Australia acquiring nuclear-propelled submarines, could have on regional stability.
North Korea back to testing missiles
North Korea has not conducted a nuclear test since 2017 and suspended testing of intercontinental-range ballistic missiles that could hit the US mainland in 2018, when leader Kim Jong Un initiated diplomacy with former President Donald Trump.
Nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled since the collapse of a second Trump-Kim meeting in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for dismantling an ageing nuclear facility.
While maintaining its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests, North Korea has continued testing shorter-range weapons threatening US allies South Korea and Japan in an apparent effort to pressure the Biden administration over the stalled diplomacy.
North Korea this month tested a new cruise missile it intends to eventually arm with nuclear warheads and demonstrated a new system for launching ballistic missiles from trains.
Video: North and South Korea conduct duelling missile tests as arms race heats up (Reuters)
Morrison in defence mode as AUKUS fallout goes global .
Frozen out in Europe, feted in Washington, alarming some of its south-east Asian neighbours: the AUKUS misfire raises questions about Australia's ability to perform on the world stage. The ‘Anglosphere' is back When announcing AUKUS, Morrison described it as a "forever partnership", while British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was an agreement among "kindred" nations. This led to a perception it was an alliance, when it is not. AUKUS is an agreement to share military technology including nuclear submarine capability, long-range missiles, cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and undersea drones.