“We’re focused on peaceful resolution of these tensions,” New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English told reporters on Friday, as cited by SkyNews Australia. “If there was any military action at all we would consider our contribution on its merits.”
English stressed that New Zealand would not automatically follow Australia’s lead, adding: “We’re in close contact with the US and Australia but any decision New Zealand makes about North Korea we make according to our own interests.”
Also on Friday, New Zealand’s foreign minister, Gerry Brownlee, signaled it is crucial for his country to exercise caution. “Committing to an aggressive response now – while encouraging all involved to avoid escalation – is not a position we want to take,” the minister said, according to local media.
Brownlee stressed that if an armed conflict were to break out, the island nation would assess suitable options in due time. “Australia is our only formal ally and if the situation did develop into armed conflict we would assess our options at the time,” he told Sky News in a statement.
The statements from Wellington came shortly after Australia – New Zealand’s neighbor and long-standing military ally – said it would invoke a mutual defense pact (ANZUS) in the event of a North Korean attack on American forces in the Asia-Pacific.
“America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the US,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Australian radio earlier on Friday. “The United States has no stronger ally than Australia. We have an ANZUS agreement and if there is an attack on Australia or the United States … each of us will come to the other’s aid,” Turnbull added.
The ANZUS collective security treaty – signed in 1951 by Australia, the US and New Zealand – stipulates that its signatories should “act to meet the common danger.” In the 1980s, New Zealand banned all nuclear-armed vessels, including American ones, from docking in its ports. In response, the US suspended its treaty obligations to New Zealand in 1986, and reduced the two countries’ military ties.
Mutual defense obligations under the ANZUS Treaty still remain in place between the US and Australia, despite the trilateral aspects of the agreement having been stalled, according to the US State Department.
Earlier this week, the Korean Peninsula saw a flare-up in tensions between Pyongyang and Washington. President Donald Trump resorted to open threats to North Korea by urging it to stop bellicose rhetoric against Washington. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the US. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said on Tuesday.
North Korea’s military said in a reciprocal statement – delivered through the state-run news agency KCNA – that it is planning on a devastating strike against the US airbase in Guam, supposedly within reach of Pyongyang’s long-range missiles. The Pentagon, according to multiple media reports, is considering using its strategic B-1 bombers as the main game changer in the event of war.
Late on Thursday, Trump said North Korea should “get their act together” or it will “be in trouble like few nations have ever been,” according to AP. North Korea should be “very, very nervous” if it does anything to the US, the American president added.
“Let’s see what he [Kim Jong-un] does with Guam,” Trump said in a combative remark. “[If] he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before – what will happen in North Korea.”
Prime Minister English said earlier this week he was worried by incendiary statements from Washington. “I think the comments are not helpful, and in an environment at the moment that is very tense,” he said, as cited by the New Zealand Herald.
“Everyone wants to avoid military confrontation, and the path ahead there is for North Korea to comply with the UN sanctions and for international pressure to push them in that direction,” he added.
The United States and New Zealand have fought together in a number of conflicts, including in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and, most recently, in Afghanistan.
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An unnamed Italian man was brought to the operating room to have glass shards removed from his anus. The patient, who had a history of cocaine abuse, explained to doctors that he inserted the drinking vessel into his rectum for “sexual stimulation.” When he attempted to remove it, the drinking glass broke and left sharp pieces inside him. The DailyMail.co.uk reported that the man only sought medical help two days after the incident out of worry for his own safety.
In the BMJ Case Report, the authors noted that the 2IRCCS Policlinico San Donato Surgery surgical team carried out the operation by dilating his rectum then extracting all sharp fragments without incident. Though the patient complained of abdominal pain, no remaining pieces were found. In addition to the surgery, the patient was also offered psychiatric help. He refused and was allowed to return home the following day. The patient recovered to full health three months after the incident.
This unusual case is far from unique, however. Known as “rectal foreign bodies”, the term refers to large, foreign items found in the rectum after being inserted into the anus, rather than reaching the rectum through the mouth. Rectal foreign bodies are also a form of colorectal trauma that are not uncommon in emergency departments all over the world. According to one 2012 study, cases of rectal foreign bodies are most prevalent in Eastern Europe and are relatively infrequent in Asia. The patients were male in the majority of cases and from a wide range of ages. The researchers also wrote that the most common reason for rectal foreign body insertion was auto eroticism or anal eroticism.
Many patients have attempted to remove the rectal foreign bodies themselves instead of seeking immediate medical attention. Embarrassment and fear usually play roles in these decisions; however, delaying medical help can result in more serious complications such as abdominal pain, fever, and rectal bleeding.
As for the reasons for insertion, the types of rectal foreign bodies is highly-varied. In the study, household objects like bottles and glasses accounted for over 42.2 percent of the rectal foreign bodies. Other cases have involved flashlights, broomsticks, Christmas ornaments, and even construction tools. Even more exceptional cases have popped over the years. (Related: SHOCKING: Chinese man has emergency surgery to remove a live eel from his intestines)
One such case featured an unemployed 27-year old man who injected liquid adhesive into his rectum for anal erotic purposes. The mixture eventually hardened into a 16-cm-long, 300-gram concrete cast of the rectum. The doctors who extricated the concrete enema were forced to cut open the young man’s abdomen. A homeless man by the name of Neil Lansing gained infamy in 2011 when corrections deputies found the following items in his rectum: a cigarette, six matches, an empty syringe with an eraser over the needle, and a paper coupon, among many other items. A notable case from 1979 was that of the “most traveled foreign body”, a plastic vibrator that was lodged in the rectum of a 64-year old man; the patient endured a world trip with the vibrator inside him, and only had it removed after six months.
If one must make use of sex toys for anal stimulation, then doctors have cautioned against objects other than appropriate toys or fingers. “Sex toys and other objects can be a safe and enjoyable part of a healthy sex life but it’s important to use common sense when choosing an object,” explained Dr. Michael Brady, medical director at Terrence Higgins Trust. “Anything with sharp edges or made of glass can shatter and tear the internal lining, which can cause injury and infections, as well as giving viruses an easier route into the body. Anything that is inserted into the body should be smooth, non-fragile and easily retrievable.”
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