Just hours after a key ally expressed its commitment to backing the U.S. in a potential confrontation with North Korea, President Donald Trump on Friday renewed and ramped up threats against the rogue nation, tweeting that military solutions are “locked and loaded should North Korea act unwisely.”
Earlier, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his country would aid America, should North Korea follow through on its threat to launch a missile strike against the U.S. territory of Guam. Following a conversation with Vice President Mike Pence and ahead of a national security briefing, Turnbull’s office released a statement on Friday clarifying Australia’s position on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Turnbull welcomed the new round of sanctions on North Korea, approved unanimously by the U.N. Security Council, and expressed commitment to U.S. efforts to bring “the North Korean regime to its sense through diplomatic and economic means.”
The prime minister also mentioned that Australia is ready to support the U.S. in a possible military confrontation, referring to the Australia, New Zealand and United States, or ANZUS, collective security agreement.
“We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States. The ANZUS Treaty means that if America is attacked, we will come to their aid. If Australia is attacked, the Americans will come to our aid. We are joined at the hip,” he said. “The American alliance is the bedrock of our national security.”
Signed in 1951 by Australia, New Zealand and the U.S., the treaty binds the parties to consult in relation to any perceived threats, and to act to meet common dangers.
New Zealand decided it no longer wanted to be subject to the deal’s obligations when it declared itself a nuclear-free zone in 1984, and while the treaty hasn’t been formally abrogated, the U.S. no longer maintains a security relationship with that country. While this would mean that the original agreement among the three nations no longer works in practice, the treaty was invoked for the first time in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
Turnbull’s comments on the military alliance set the hastag #Anzus trending on Twitter, as Australians began commenting…