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Old 06-03-2019, 02:40 PM
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Thumbs up Canada deploys military assets to monitor North Korean sanctions enforcement

Canada deploys military assets to monitor North Korean sanctions enforcement
By: Leo Byrne - NK News - 6-3-19

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Two CN vessels and a monitoring aircraft will join combined efforts in the region.

The Canadian military on Monday announced it will commit assets to help monitor North Korean sanctions enforcement, providing maritime patrol craft to combined efforts to monitor the DPRK’s smuggling operations.

In June, Canada will provide two vessels and patrol aircraft to what it calls Operation NEON, though the plans include the provision of additional assets stretching to 2021.

“Canada’s contribution to this multinational initiative in support of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is now being conducted under a new named operation, Operation NEON,” Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command said in a press release.

“The Canadian Armed Forces remains steadfast as we continue to provide assets and exceptional professionals alongside our regional allies and partners.”

The press release adds that Operation Neon is Canada’s “contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.”

Canada’s forces will join others from Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States who between them are monitoring the seas around the Korean Peninsula for cases of DPRK smuggling at sea.

In early June, Canada will deploy HMCS Regina, Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and a CP-140 Aurora aircraft are contributing to the region, the press release adds.

Ottowa also provided military assets to monitor North Korean sanctions enforcement last year in May and October.

UN Resolutions currently prohibit North Korea from exporting coal and restrict the country’s oil imports, but Pyongyang has turned to transferring cargos at sea to circumvent the resolutions.

These ship-to-ship transfers are also prohibited under UN Resolution 2375, though according to the UN Panel of Experts’ (PoE) most recent report the restrictions have had little effect on the frequency of the practice.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs remain intact and the country continues to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products and coal,” the PoE wrote in their most recent report.

Between them, the combined military assets have photographed multiple instances of apparent oil transfers at sea – which have likely led to the UN’s blacklisting of multiple DPRK oil tankers – and established specific areas which seem to be the North’s favored smuggling zones.

But no country has yet announced an interdiction at sea to prevent the North’s smuggling operations, despite UN resolutions allowing member states to potentially carry out searches and seizures.

Speaking recently to NK News, the PoE’s former maritime expert said that such action is challenging as it creates a host of logistical problems, not to mention possible diplomatic and political fallout from Pyongyang.

“But they’re not doing it for the same reason that you know once you’ve found that ship, what are you going to do then? You’ve got to take it somewhere,” Watts said.

“I think it’s a matter of national will by countries. It would require a bit of will to do that. And right now the indications are that no country is willing to do that.

Canada’s Department of National Defense declined to comment on whether its naval vessels would be monitoring DPRK vessel activity or taking a more active stance.

“Information regarding rules of engagement as well as specific details about procedures will not be released for operational security reasons,” Major Vincent Bouchar, public affairs officer for the Canadian armed forces told NK News.

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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