Surveillance planes from Australia and New Zealand to help enforce N. Korea sanctions

Australia and New Zealand are sending military aircraft to Japan to help police sanctions on North Korea, government officials said Friday.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion will deploy to Kadena Air Base to support the enforcement of United Nations sanctions against the communist state, according to a statement from New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark.

Australian Defence Minister Christopher Pyne announced the same day that two Australian AP-3C Orions would also fly to Japan to help enforce the sanctions, The Australian newspaper reported.

The sanctions are designed to pressure North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs. Last month, the U.S. penalized a pair of Russian firms and six ships allegedly involved in moving petroleum products to North Korean-flagged vessels in violation of the sanctions.

New Zealand is firmly committed to an enduring peace on the Korean Peninsula, Peters said in the statement. We welcome the recent dialogue North Korea has had with the United States and South Korea. However, until such time as North Korea abides by its international obligations, full implementation of the United Nations Security Council Sanctions resolutions will be essential.

The Orion will be tasked with maritime surveillance above international waters in North Asia, the statement said. Officials did not announce a timeline for the mission.

New Zealand will coordinate efforts with partners to ....

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