Aust needs mis­sile de­fence – US ex­pert

The Queensland Times - - NEWS NATION -

AUS­TRALIA must de­velop greater mis­sile de­fences in case there is a strike from North Korea.

That’s the ad­vice from Dr Brad Roberts, a US deputy as­sis­tant sec­re­tary of de­fence for nu­clear and mis­sile de­fence pol­icy from 2009 to 2013.

Dr Roberts, who is in Aus­tralia brief­ing of­fi­cials about re­gional threats, told the ABC it didn’t have to be too costly.

“I don’t think it’s a large number of very ex­pen­sive in­ter­cep­tors and radars de­ployed around the pe­riph­ery of the Aus­tralian con­ti­nent,” he said. “A sea-based ca­pa­bil­ity on the ad­vanced de­stroyer that would in­clude a sea-based radar and some in­ter­cep­tors – that could op­er­ate in coali­tion part­ner­ship with other al­lies.

“Un­for­tu­nately, Aus­tralia doesn’t re­ally get to choose whether or not North Korea threat­ens it (a mis­sile strike) – it’s the choice that the North Korean leader makes.

“His ob­jec­tive is to make us fear­ful so that our lead­ers will not stand up to his threats and co­er­cion.”

De­fence In­dus­try Min­is­ter Christo­pher Pyne con­firmed last month the gov­ern­ment was con­sid­er­ing up­grad­ing the Navy’s new air war­fare de­stroy­ers to in­clude mis­sile de­fence shields.

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