Prime minister says US won't deploy missiles in Australia

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that the U.S. will not deploy intermediate-range missiles in Australia, Reuters reported.

“It’s not been asked to us, not being considered, not been put to us. I think I can rule a line under that,” Morrison told reporters in Brisbane.

His comments came two days after newly appointed Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperPrime minister says US won’t deploy missiles in Australia New Pentagon chief says China’s ‘destabilizing behavior’ is ‘disturbing’ Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD’s deputy secretary MORE said he hoped to soon place ground-launched, intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Esper made the suggestion the day after the U.S. pulled itself from a Cold War-era arms control pact governing the use of those weapons.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty had banned nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 300 and 3,400 miles. The original ban between Moscow and Washington resulted in 2,692 missiles being destroyed.

The U.S. has blamed Russia for violating the now-defunct treaty since 2014, a claim Moscow denies.

Esper did not give any information on where in the region the missiles would be placed.

 

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