- REUTERS/Carlos Barria
After an intense exchange of threats and frightening implications between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, the US and North Korea’s allies are staking out their positions in case of a conflict.
Australia, a long-time US ally, has stated that it will invoke a mutual defense if the US is attacked by North Korea.
“America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Malcolm Turnbull, told 3AW, an Australian radio station.
“So be very, very clear on that. If there’s an attack on the US, the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked,” Turnbull said, referencing a US-Australian mutual defense treaty.
Meanwhile, Japan’s government is preparing to position Patriot Advanced Capability missile defense batteries along the route of a possible North Korean missile strike on Guam, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The US and Japan cooperate closely on defense, and Japanese ships support the US’s Aegis missile defense systems at sea and on land.
Together, the US and Japan could field a potent mix of missile defenses that an expert told Business Insider would have a .96 probability of knocking down a single North Korean missile.
South Korea, often weary of US military deployments on its soil, has been considering an increase in US missile defenses while building bigger and better offensive weapons of its own.
But in North Korea’s corner, its main trading partner and treaty ally China, has sent a signal that it won’t risk backing Pyongyang.
- Damir Sagolj/Reuters
Although it does not speak directly for the Chinese government, the state-run Global Times is strictly censored to contain no commentary that the Chinese Communist Party disagrees with. On Friday, the newspaper ran an editorial saying “China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten US soil first and the US retaliates, China will stay neutral.”
While the US under President Donald Trump has had some spats with leaders of Australia and South Korea, and his fiery rhetoric in recent days has turned heads, the deep alliances between the US, its Asian allies, and Australia remains ironclad in the face of possible nuclear war with North Korea.