Oz assigns warship to NK action
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.