Thursday, May 23, 2024

NZDF deploys new Poseidon in North Korea surveillance effort

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has today announced it will for the sixth time deploy a maritime patrol aircraft and specialist personnel to detect and deter evasions of United Nations Security Council resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea.

The NZDF has contributed personnel and maritime surveillance patrol aircraft to help enforce Security Council sanctions against North Korea since 2018.

North Korea continues to launch ballistic missiles in violation of Security Council resolutions. The sanctions are intended to persuade the country to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile weapons capabilities, NZDF said in a statement.

Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour, said the NZDF was committed to working alongside partners on enforcement operations, to uphold the international rules-based system and contribute to regional stability and security.

The maritime surveillance and reconnaissance patrols will be over international waters looking for violations of the sanctions resolutions, including illicit ship-to-ship transfers of banned goods such as oil and coal, he said.

Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Andy Scott, said the deployment included several “firsts” for the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s latest aircraft, the Boeing P-8A Poseidon.

“This is the first time one of our Poseidons has been deployed operationally overseas, the first time we have operated in Asia, which will be the furthest deployment away from New Zealand, and the first time we have used this aircraft in support of New Zealand’s contribution to uphold UN Security Council sanctions enforcement.’’

Previous patrols in support of enforcing Security Council sanctions were conducted by the now-retired P-3K2 Orion.

The Poseidon aircraft and crew will be based in Japan, conducting sanctions enforcement flights in support of the Enforcement Coordination Centre. Patrols will be conducted during April and May.

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