Aus­tralia boosts sanc­tions en­force­ment

Northwest 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.

Six Gaza Pales­tinian protesters shot dead

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Is­raeli forces shot dead six Pales­tini­ans on Fri­day, four of them in a sin­gle in­ci­dent, in one of the dead­li­est days in months of mass protests along the se­cu­rity fence sep­a­rat­ing Gaza and Is­rael, Gaza’s Health Min­istry said.

The min­istry said four were killed in one lo­ca­tion, where the Is­raeli mil­i­tary said it opened fire on a crowd of Pales­tini­ans who breached the fence and ap­proached an army post. No Is­raeli troops were harmed, the army added.

Two other Pales­tini­ans were killed in other protest lo­ca­tions, the min­istry said, adding that at least 140 Pales­tini­ans were wounded by live bul­lets.

The Is­raeli mil­i­tary said 14,000 Pales­tini­ans thronged the bor­der fence ar­eas, burn­ing tires and throw­ing rocks, fire­bombs and gre­nades at sol­diers sta­tioned atop earth mounds on the other side of the bar­rier.

Since March, Ha­mas has or­ches­trated near-weekly protests along the fence, press­ing for an end to a sti­fling Is­rael-Egyp­tian block­ade im­posed since the mil­i­tant group wrested con­trol of Gaza in 2007.

More than 150 Pales­tini­ans par­tic­i­pat­ing in or present at the marches have been killed since they be­gan. In May, about 60 protesters were killed in a sin­gle day, mak­ing it one of the dead­li­est since a 2014 war be­tween the two sides.

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