skip to main content

New Zealand plans P-8A deployment to enforce North Korea sanctions

The planned deployment of an RNZAF Boeing P-8A Poseidon to Japan in mid-April 2024 to participate in the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea, is the sixth such RNZAF deployment since 2018. (New Zealand Defence Force)

New Zealand has said that it will deploy a Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to Japan for the first time in support of UN Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on North Korea and assist with the monitoring and surveillance of illegal ship-to-ship transfers by Pyongyang.

The deployment will see the P-8A conduct maritime surveillance and reconnaissance patrols “over international waters looking for violations of the sanctions resolutions, including illicit ship-to-ship transfers of banned goods such as oil and coal”, said Rear Admiral Jim Gilmour, commander of the Joint Forces New Zealand, on 10 April.

According to the Japan Ministry of Defense (MoD), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P-8A will operate from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa from mid-April to early May.

The deployment comprises several “firsts” for the RNZAF's P-8As, according to the Air Component Commander, Air Commodore Andy Scott.

“This is the first time one of our Poseidons has been deployed operationally overseas, the first time we have operated in Asia, which will be the furthest deployment away from New Zealand, and the first time we have used this aircraft in support of New Zealand's contribution to uphold UNSC sanctions enforcement,” Air Cdre Scott said.

The deployment, which is the sixth such operation undertaken by the RNZAF in support of UNSC Resolutions on North Korea since 2018, is in accordance with the UN Status of Forces Agreement, the Japan MoD said. Previous RNZAF patrols in support of UNSC resolutions were conducted using the now-retired Lockheed P-3K2 Orion fleet. The RNZAF currently operates four P-8As.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...