Turnbull's words were "America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States...So be very, very clear on that. If there's an attack on the US, the ANZUS Treaty would be invoked and Australia would come to the aid of the United States, as America would come to our aid if we were attacked."
When Turnbull was specifically asked what would happen in the event of an attack on the US territory of Guam, Turnbull said: “We would come to the aid of the United States. Now, how that manifests itself will obviously depend on the circumstances and the consultations with our allies [which includes New Zealand under ANZUS].”
If NK carried out its threat to fire missiles at the US Territory of Guam this might be a trigger for a US counter-strike against NK. If NK's action is judged "an attack on the US" Australia might then send air and/or sea units to reinforce US forces facing NK.
Australian military assets that might conceivably work with US forces could include:
Aircraft, for example, Australian:
- AP-3C Orions and/or P-8 Poseidons to patrol against NK submarines, NK ships and boats.
- Boeing 737 (platform) E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft
- Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aerial refueling aircraft
- possibly Australian F/A-18/F and/or F/A-18A strike aircraft, and
- EA-18G (Growler) electronic jamming aircraft
Perhaps ships, including:
- 2 Anzac class and/or Adelaide class frigates.
- Australia's first Air Warfare Destroyer, HMAS Hobart, is unlikely to be commissioned in time.
- For the frigates' long voyage north 1 replenishment ship (HMAS Sirius or HMAS Success)
- Collins submarines for blocking defence, closer to Australian waters.
A form of Australian assistance to the US already is the Australian missile tracking station at Pine Gap near the town of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. Pine Gap is an Earth/ground station which works with satellites to detect North Korean, Chinese and Russian missiles being launched and helps determine their flight direction. The Gap is jointly run by Australian and US agencies.
It is still unclear what South Korea, Japan, China and Russia might do given their geographic proximity to North Korea.