Defence continues to support United Nations sanctions against North Korea

7 February 2024

Defence has deployed one Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft as part of Operation Argos to enforce United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions against the rogue nuclear state.

Defence will conduct air surveillance of illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods to support the international community’s goal of the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea.

Operating from Kadena Air Base in Japan, the P-8A Poseidon aircraft will conduct airborne surveillance to monitor and deter illegal ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum going to North Korea.

Since 2018, Australia has deployed maritime patrol aircraft on 13 occasions and Royal Australian Navy vessels ten times to support the UNSC sanctions. 

Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Rear Admiral Justin Jones, CSC, RAN, said Operation Argos reinforced Australia’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation and directly contributed to maintaining rules-based global order in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Australia remains deeply committed to enforcing UN Security Council sanctions and our own sanctions against North Korea,” Rear Admiral Justin Jones said.

“We regularly deploy air and maritime assets on Operation Argos to monitor and deter shipments of sanctioned goods, alongside close partners, including Canada, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.”

Commanding Officer No. 11 Squadron, Wing Commander Adam Saber said Defence personnel had provided a major contribution to regional security and stability since the first Operation Argos deployment in 2018.

“Australia’s unwavering commitment to supporting regional stability is a key part of 11 Squadron operations—the versatility of the P-8A aircraft, its interoperability with partner nations and its exceptional reliability make it well suited for Operation Argos,” Wing Commander Adam Saber said.

“Every day of the year, 11 Squadron personnel are deployed somewhere in the world in support of Australia’s interests.

“I am extremely proud of their dedication, professionalism and drive, and it is this performance that supports our success on Operation Argos and in the wider region.”

Media note:

Media can access imagery of ADF’s support to Operation Argos at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20232523

Information about Operation Argos is available at: https://www.defence.gov.au/operations/argos

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