Written by Nora Campbell
Recently, the DPRK has threatened the Pacific with nuclear arms, an action which could be extremely dangerous to Australia. No doubt, it was meant to seem this way, as we’ve also been accused of “blindly and zealously toeing the US line.” Since this, Australians have been wondering the same thing, is the threat serious? Each political party has their own opinion, with phrases such as “Enormous concern” and “low but real threat” being thrown around.
Although Australia has done extensive research into nuclear and chemical weapons, we have no weapons of mass destruction of our own. We are however, sitting on around 30% of the world’s uranium deposits, enabling us to be important allies in this age of nuclear technology. One can hope that this only means further research into safer nuclear power.
For years Australia has enjoyed the relative security that only being half a world away from most of our potential threats can bring. It was only in the last seventy or so years, with the invention and improvement of nuclear missile technology, that smart technology missiles have evolved to reach us even here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a relatively new idea, but one that we’re getting used to.
It’s our alliance with the US which has gotten us in this situation, and admittedly, The DPRK is correct in one regard, Australia has followed the US into the Vietnam war, the Korean war and the war on terror, leading to a heavy loss of lives on both sides, and so far, no real gain. As with any political decision, many Australians are for these alliances, and many against. Ultimately however, the decision to remain supporting the US, or not, does not come down to historical ties, but to doing what is right.
Australia does not have an operational missile defense system.
For now though, the only fire we’re ready for is bush fire.