The New Zealand government announced on April 20 it will deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion maritime patrol aircraft in support of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea.
The Resolutions, adopted unanimously by the UNSC between 2006 and 2017, are intended to persuade North Korea to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile capabilities.
“New Zealand’s Orion deployments contribute to the international community’s collective efforts to achieve the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, with the goal of complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea,” Nanaia Mahuta said.
“New Zealand has long supported the maintenance of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. Our Orion deployments help to detect and deter illicit maritime practices in contravention of UNSC sanctions against North Korea, such as ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned cargo at sea,” Peeni Henare said.
This will be the fourth such Orion deployment, following previous deployments in October 2020, October 2019 and September 2018.
Consistent with prior deployments, the RNZAF aircraft will be based at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Its maritime surveillance patrol flights will be over international waters in North Asia and will take place in April and May.
The NZDF personnel deploying will undertake all COVID-19 quarantine requirements upon arrival in Japan, and again upon return to New Zealand.
“New Zealand’s latest Orion deployment reflects the Government’s commitment to collective security in the Indo-Pacific region,” defense minister Peeni Henare said.