Written by Anne Anderson
There is no indication as yet, that the New Zealand government will replicate Australia’s moves to ensure the safety of its people in South Korea.
Australia’s ‘Herald Sun’ says Defence officials are working on plans to evacuate thousands of Australians from South Korea as North Korea threatens war.
Approximately 7,000 Australians are believed to be in South Korea.
According to the Herald Sun, Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, leave for China tomorrow and will urge Beijing to take stronger action against its ally, North Korea.
Pyongyang has threatened missile and nuclear strikes against the US and South Korea in response to UN sanctions and joint military drills.
However the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has not changed its advisory in terms of travel and safety in South Korea.
Despite its increasing level of rhetoric, analysts believe North Korea has no intention of starting a war.
‘The Australian’ reports that analysts consider the ominous warnings as efforts to provoke more lenient policies from South Korea; win diplomatic talks with Washington and strengthen young North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un’s image.
European diplomatic sources in the North Korean capital say there is nothing there to suggest war is imminent – no sign of conscripts being signed up, or unusual troop movements.
North Korea’s missiles may have considerable range – but they still cannot reach the US.
Nevertheless, US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel, is taking the regime’s threats of a nuclear strike seriously, saying North Korea’s bellicose and dangerous rhetoric poses a real and clear danger to America and its allies, South Korea and Japan.
The Pentagon is sending ground-based THAAD missile-interceptor batteries to protect military bases on Guam, US territory that is home to 6,000 American military personnel.
Yesterday both South Korean spotted Pyongyang moving one of its Musudan mid-range missiles to the east coast – towards the coast of the Sea of Japan. The missile has an estimated range of up to 4,000 kilometres and can hit targets in South Korea, Japan and the US controlled island of Guam
According to ‘The Australian’, the Yonhap news agency reported speculation the missile may be “test fired” on April 15, the birthday of the nation’s founder Kim Il-sung.
British Prime Minister, David Cameron, told defence workers in Scotland that if North Korea can reach the US, it can also reach Europe.
He said his country would be left defenceless against the highly unpredictable and aggressive North Korean regime if it eased its own nuclear deterrent program.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Cameron says the recent actions of North Korea, coupled with concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme, mean it would be foolish to scrap their fleet of nuclear missile submarines.
He says Britain needs its nuclear deterrent as much now as it did when a previous British government embarked on it over six decades ago.
Cameron says while the Soviet Union no longer exists, the nuclear threat has not gone away.
China, Russia and the UN have issued repeated calls for restraint as tension builds.
The Global Post says Chinese forces have reportedly been at the highest level of alert since March 19.
In an interview with Interfax News on Wednesday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Igor Morgulov, said Moscow is worried – and that in the current heated atmosphere, it would only need an elementary human error or mechanical failure for the situation to go out of control and plunge into a critical dive.