In late 2011, then foreign minister Kevin Rudd wrote an opinion piece warning Australia about the threat of missile attack from North Korea -- a "cruel, totalitarian state" -- which he claimed could "prove to be our worst nightmare".

Matters have heated up since then. A failed North Korean missile test in March 2012 was reportedly headed in our direction, and the US State Department issued a personal warning to Foreign Minister Bob Carr. And North Korea tested a nuclear weapon as recently as February of this year.