North Korea singles out Darwin as the launch pad for nuclear war

 

AUSTRALIA’S Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has slammed North Korea after its state-run newspaper identified Darwin as the site of a possible nuclear war.

Last week, US marines touched down in the NT capital for a six-month deployment, during which they will conduct military training exercises with Australian and visiting Chinese forces.

Commanding Officer of Marine Rotational Force Darwin, Lieutenant Colonel Brian S. Middleton, said the 1250 US Marine deployment to Darwin stands ready to fight if tensions between his country and North Korea escalate into direct conflict.

But while Lieut. Colonel Middleton said US Marines were ready for battle, Rodong Sinmun, the official paper of the Worker’s Party of North Korea, had its own take on the Darwin arrival, claiming the United States was using Australian territory in preparation of nuclear war.

“This is the largest scale US military presence in Australia after World War 2,” the newspaper reported on Monday under the headline “America prepares for nuclear war in different overseas military deployments”.

“America is fanatically, crazily trying to optimise its nuclear war readiness.”

The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK warned overnight the Turnbull government is “blindly and zealously toeing the US line”.

“It is entirely attributable to the nuclear threat escalated by the US and its anachronistic policy hostile to the DPRK that the situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to the brink of war in an evil cycle of increasing tensions.

“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.”

It comes as Korean Central News Agency claims five million of North Korea’s youth “are hardening their will to wipe out the enemies with the surging rages at them” and were “waiting for the final order”.

 

Australia’s Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne has laughed off North Korea’s latest claims, telling the ABC the US deployment in Darwin, the sixth and most complex US marine air-ground task force to be deployed to the Territory, has been a “longstanding government policy”.

S. Korea premier pelted with eggs, bottles over missile site

Angry residents in a rural South Korean town threw eggs and water bottles at the prime minister and blocked him for more than six hours Friday to protest a plan to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defense system in their neighborhood.

Earlier this week, South Korea announced that the missile system called Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, will be placed in the southeastern farming town of Seongju by the end of next year to better cope with North Korean threats. Seongju residents launched protests, saying they fear possible health hazards from the missile system.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, accompanied by the defense minister and others, visited Seongju to try to explain the decision to residents but was immediately disrupted by jeers.

Some hurled eggs and water bottles, shouting "We oppose (the THAAD deployment) with our lives," according to TV footage.
A senior police officer was injured on his forehead.

Hwang didn't appear to be directly hit by any objects as security guards and aides used umbrellas and bags to protect him. But his suit jacket was tainted by eggs and he evacuated to a town hall office.

When he and the others came out of the building into a minibus, they were surrounded by hundreds of protesters, some using tractors. Hwang was held in the bus for more than six hours.

South Korean officials have dismissed as groundless a belief that THAAD radar systems emit electromagnetic waves that can cause health problems. Defense officials say the U.S. system is harmless if people stay at least 100 meters (yards) away from it.

The United States has about 28,500 troops in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

Seongju residents criticized the government for unilaterally deciding on the deployment without consulting them. About 200 Seongju residents made a protest visit to Seoul's Defense Ministry on Wednesday, and some wrote letters of complaint in blood. A group of 13 local leaders went on a hunger strike.