Sunday, July 06, 2003

Force down jets, board ships, says US, Australia: "Australian and United States officials meeting in Brisbane next week will discuss an aggressive military operation to force down aircraft and board ships suspected of carrying prohibited weapons from North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya... But the proposals being pushed by Australia and the US are expected to raise difficult questions of international law and could provoke a military confrontation with countries like North Korea."

Howard of course can only be expected to endorse whatever the US comes up with, no matter how extreme, but Australia must wonder whether a policy of piracy and confrontation with North Korea is in the genuine national security interests of Australia and our region. There is a surreal element to the North Korean crisis: this country has repeatedly threatened war and a nuclear attack against the United States itself if attacked, and yet the policy of confrontation continues as if it was all some kind of joke.

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