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New Zealand deploying RNZDF Orion to patrol waters near North Korea

The Government has pledged to deploy its Orion aircraft in North Asia waters, bolstering their support of the United Nations’ sanction against North Korea. 

P3 Orion doing touch and goes Kaneohe Bay Hawaii Source: istock.com

Between 2006 and 2017 the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolutions with the aim of persuading North Korea to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile capabilities.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft will be posted at the Kadena Air Base in Japan for the next two months of the operation. 

“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,” Foreign Affair Minister Nanaia Mahuta said.

Defence Minister Peeni Henare 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."

All defence force personnel will be required to follow Covid-19 quarantine requirements on arrival in Japan as well as when they return to New Zealand. 

“New Zealand’s latest Orion deployment reflects the Government’s commitment to collective security in the Indo-Pacific region,” says  Henare. 

This deployment will be the fourth such mission for an RNZDF Orion aircraft, the last in October 2020.