Aus­tralian ship sent to en­force sanc­tions

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - WORLD NEWS - ROD MCGUIRK

CA N BERRA, AUS­TRALIA — Aus­tralia has as­signed a guided mis­sile frigate to the east china Sea to boast in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to en­force sanc­tions against North Korea, an aus­tralian of­fi­cer said Fri­day.

The aus­tralian de­fence Force chief of joint op­er­a­tions, air Mar­shall Mel hupfeld, said the war­ship with a crew of 230 will be sup­ported by two aus­tralian 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 ... united Na­tions Se­cu­rity coun­cil res­o­lu­tions,” hupfeld told re­porters.

“The oc­ca­sional de­ploy­ment of ... mar­itime pa­trol air­craft and sur­face ves­sels to the re­gion ... adds weight to aus­tralia’s on­go­ing eco­nomic and diplo­matic pres­sure on North Korea and en­hances the ca­pac­ity of on­go­ing multi­na­tional en­force­ment ef­forts,” he added.

The aus­tralians would work in co-op­er­a­tion with the Ja­panese, u.S., cana­di­ans and the South Kore­ans to en­force sanc­tions, hupfeld said.

He likened de­tect­ing il­le­gal shipto-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.

“I won’t go into a great deal of depth on those as­pects, that’s very much an op­er­a­tional mat­ter,” hupfeld said.

“An air­plane fly­ing over the top can’t stop any­thing from oc­cur­ring,” he added.

The Syd­ney-based war­ship was cur­rently in South Korea tak­ing part in a fleet re­view, he said.

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