North Korea has warned Australia that "blindly following the U.S." into acts of military engagement or training "is a suicidal act of inviting disaster".
The North Korean state news agency KCNA said in a media release on Saturday that the Australian military's involvement in the annual Ulchi Freedom Guardian training exercise along with the United States and South Korea is "aggravating the situation on the Korean peninsula and the region".
"The Australian military announced that they would dispatch their troops to the aggressive nuclear exercises of the U.S. This is a suicidal act of inviting disaster as it is an illustration of political immaturity unaware of the seriousness of the current situation," the statement said.
"Australia followed the U.S. to the Korean War, the Vietnamese War and the "war on terrorism", but heavy loss of lives and assets were all that it got in return.
"The Australian government had better devote time and energy to maintaining peace of its own country, instead of forgetting the lessons learned in the past and joining the U.S. in the moves for nuclear war."
North Korea issues threats to Australia, saying if it 'blindly' follows US it will not escape 'counter justice'— Barbara Miller (@abcbarbm) August 21, 2017
A spokesman for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs also criticised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in the statement for invoking the ANZUS treaty in response to escalating rhetoric the country is engaging in with the United States.
"The Australian Prime Minister made reckless remarks that the allies, including Australia, were together with the U.S. and that ANZUS stood for the mutual defence between the U.S. and Australia, should either one of them come under attack," the spokesperson said.
"Countries like Australia that join the military adventure against the DPRK, blindly following the U.S., will never avoid the counter-measures of justice by the DPRK."
North Korea: "Australian govt had better devote time... to maintaining peace of its own country, instead of...joining the U.S. in... nuclear war."— Andrew Greene (@AndrewBGreene) August 21, 2017
The comments come after Turnbull was also warned by one Canberra professor that he risks "an incredibly costly, dangerous, tragic outcome" if Australia enters a conflict between North Korea and the United States.