As global attention is focused on the landmark negotiations on the Korean peninsula, international forces are continuing to ensure that UN embargo’s on North Korea are enforced.

British frigate HMS Sutherland arrived in Japan a fortnight ago and has been working with American, South Korean and Japanese vessels to patrol waters around the Korean peninsula. The primary focus for policing efforts will be North Korean vessels suspected of conducting at sea transfers of banned goods in an attempt to circumvent their embargo’s on weaponry and items relating to their missile programs.

This multinational coalition is being joined this week by maritime patrol aircraft from the Royal Australian and Royal Canadian Air Forces. The surveillance aircraft will be deployed to the USAF’s Kadena Air Base on the southern island of Okinawa and it is understood that the United States will be leading operations.

Despite significant progress towards peace at the historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea, most nations are maintaining their hard-line approach of economic and diplomatic pressure to keep North Korea on track. American officials having been working to step up interception operations with allied nations since February.

Describing the deployment of the RAAF aircraft Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said that “[Australia had] a P-8A surveillance aircraft that is going to be working in the region to monitor compliance with sanctions, and that is part of our collaboration with our partners in that exercise to enforce those UN sanctions.

What has been occurring is that sanctions have been evaded by transferring materials from ship to ship… to add to the surveillance of the area enables that to be identified and then, of course, those who are a party to that to be held responsible and brought to account.”

In a statement following the deployments the Japanese government said that it “welcomes these activities from the viewpoint of upholding the maximum pressure on North Korea while maintaining the solidarity of the international community.”

In addition to HMS Sutherland the Royal Navy has also deployed amphibious assault ship HMS Albion to the Far East, which is currently undertaking training and diplomatic visits with regional British allies including Brunei.


  1. Canada, USA, Australia, Japan – These are the people we should be building alliances and trade with. Screw the self serving EU and its political dogma. Its the only Union that has to threaten people or pay them to remain members …

    • Yep. But ain’t going to happen as our MPs are in Brussels pocket and mostly support remain.

      Brexit is getting sabotaged before our eyes and I’m very sad for that.

      I hope I’m wrong, I really do.

  2. At least the UK has a carrier for their flight crews to operate off… 😀

    Seriously, I’ve worked often with their military and even taught USAF aircraft and tactics at their Air Ground Operations School in France. They have always been professionals and a pleasure to work with. The pols – much like our respective countries own – not so much…


  3. We should be focusing on Europe and not Asia.

    Throwing a few ships into Asian waters is not going to have any positive impact on trade (potentially negative if we annoy china too much). Why would Australians or Japanese suddenly buy more British goods just because we have a few ships in the region, they won’t.

    Flip side is our own defense relies on our European allies and so making sure we keep them on our side is key.

  4. Little bit off topic but is there any new news on the Fleet Solid Support Ship programme. Wasn’t the tender supposed to be given out today?


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