Oz as­signs war­ship to NK ac­tion

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS -

AUS­TRALIA has as­signed HMAS Mel­bourne to the East China Sea to boost in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to en­force sanc­tions against North Korea.

Aus­tralian De­fence Force chief of joint op­er­a­tions Air Mar­shal Mel Hupfeld said the war­ship with a crew of 230 would be sup­ported by two AP-3C Orion sur­veil­lance air­craft based in Ja­pan.

“De­spite the eas­ing of ten­sions on the Korea Penin­sula, Py­ongyang con­tin­ues with its nu­clear weapons and bal­lis­tic weapons pro­grams in de­fi­ance of … UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions,” he said.

Aus­tralia will work with Ja­pan, the US, Canada and South Korea to en­force sanc­tions, Air Mar­shal Hupfeld said.

He likened de­tect­ing il­le­gal ship-to-ship trans­fers of goods from among the many le­git­i­mate trans­ac­tions in the East China Sea to find­ing a nee­dle in a haystack.

Hupfeld would not say whether the frigate HMAS Mel­bourne’s role would be in­ter­cept­ing sus­pect cargo ships.

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