Australia, NZ sending aircraft to Japan to enforce North Korea sanctions

AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft. Photo: Royal Australian Air Force

Australia and New Zealand are deploying three aircraft to Japan to conduct maritime surveillance in support of the international effort to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea.

Australia will deploy two AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, while New Zealand will send its P-3K2 maritime patrol aircraft.

As explained by the Australian defense minister, the deployment supports Australia’s ongoing economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

“It is a continuation of our strong stand to deter and disrupt illicit trade and sanctions evasion activities by North Korea and its associated networks,” the statement issued by Minister Christopher Pyne reads.

The latest deployment follows on from Australian previous contribution of a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft earlier in the year.

What is more, the mission will see New Zealand’s P-3K2 undertake maritime surveillance above international waters in North Asia. The aircraft will be based out of Kadena Air Base, Japan.

“New Zealand will coordinate efforts with partners to counter North Korea’s maritime activities that contravene UNSC resolutions, in particular its use of ship-to-ship transfers,” Ron Mark, New Zealand defense minister, said.

Sanctions resolutions against North Korea were unanimously adopted and supported by permanent UNSC members.

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