Australia to invoke ANZUS treaty and assist US if North Korea attacks

"If there is 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".

Benjamin J. Cruz tells The Associated Press in a telephone interview, "We're just praying that the United States and the ... defense system we have here is sufficient enough to protect us".

"Australians should be reassured that on this matter of North Korea and our national security, the politics of Labor and Liberal are working absolutely together", he said.

Australian shares closed at their lowest in nearly three weeks on Friday, as investors fled to safer assets amid the inflammatory exchange of words between North Korea and the United States.

Sentiment in the banking sector was also dented after Australia's central bank said it aims to keep interest rates at record lows for a while, with any tightening "quite some time away" and likely to be gradual as households try to whittle down a mountain of debt.

He is responding to Trump's warning that North Korea could face "fire and fury" if it threatens the United States after a new report said U.S. intelligence officials believe Pyongyang has successfully produced a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.

These comments caused many to fear the president was threatening nuclear war, and led Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reassure Americans they did not have to worry.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says North Korea is reckless, provocative, dangerous and a threat to peace.

He said the form of Australia's engagement would be determined in consultation with allies. Last month, North Korea demonstrated that it can launch ICBMs that have the range to reach northern Australia, according to experts' assessments.

Vice President Mike Pence spoke today with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia.

"The call from the international community is for North Korea to accept its legal obligations and abide by the numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding it desists from its missile testing and weapons development programme".

But the Prime Minister said the terms of the Australia-US alliance were clear.

The ANZUS treaty was invoked only once during the leadership of former Prime Minister John Howard in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks against New York and Washington.

"The United States has no stronger ally than Australia".

That sounds a little close to home.

This presidency is unlike any of its modern predecessors, and judging how to handle it is extremely difficult for the government. We are joined at the hip. It's interesting to note the new administration hasn't yet even posted an ambassador to Australia.

  • Leon Brazil