Australian could face a nuclear attack from North Korea if it got involved in an international force to stop ships carrying weapons of mass destruction, an unofficial spokesman for the North Korean government has warned.
Australia has agreed to take part in maritime exercises which may lead to the establishment of an international operation to stop the weapons trade by counties such as North Korea.
Kim Myong-Chol from the Centre for Korean-American Peace last night said if North Korean ships were stopped at sea, North Korea could turn its nuclear arsenal on Australia.
Mr Myong-Chol said North Korea had reprocessed 8000 nuclear fuel rods at the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and had nuclear missiles pointed at the United States.
He said North Korea also had missiles capable of hitting Australia.
“If Australia become part of American manipulation against North Korea, North Korea reserve the right to strike back on Australia,” Mr Myong-Chol told ABC TV’s Lateline program.
“That is official North Korean position.
“If Australia become part of American operation, North Korean response is to attack Australia.”
Mr Myong-Chol said North Korea had the ability to strike Australia at any time.
He said North Korea had been monitored Australian involvement in talks to set up the force in Brisbane last week.
“North Korea is carefully monitoring all Australian behaviour, so Australia must be careful in its behaviour to North Korea,” Mr Myong-Chol said.
He warned prime minister John Howard, who will visit South Korea this week, to be careful in his talks with Asian leaders.
“The North Korean message is to be careful in talking,” Mr Myong-Chol said.
“Otherwise, harm to Australia.”