Aus­tralia boosts sanc­tions en­force­ment

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

CAN­BERRA, Aus­tralia — Aus­tralia has as­signed a guided mis­sile frigate to the East China Sea to boost in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to en­force sanc­tions against North Korea, an Aus­tralian of­fi­cer said Fri­day.

The Aus­tralian De­fense 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 co­op­er­a­tion with Ja­pan, the United States, Canada and South Korea to en­force sanc­tions, 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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