British frigate HMS Richmond captured evidence of ships apparently breaching United Nations sanctions targeting North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile programmes.

The Ministry of Defence say in a statement:

“HMS Richmond recently conducted operations in the East China Sea to support United Nations sanctions efforts targeted against the Democratic Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) Weapons of Mass Destruction and ballistic missile programmes. The sanctions, adopted in 2017, ban the supply of fuel or refined petroleum products to DPRK.

Detaching from the UK Carrier Strike Group, currently deployed to the Indo-Pacific, the Type 23 Royal Navy frigate captured evidence of ships apparently breaching UN sanctions and collected updated intelligence on other ships of interest, providing video and photographic evidence to the UN Enforcement Coordination Cell (ECC). The operations, which were conducted and completed earlier this month, are the first occasion since 2019 that a Royal Navy ship has supported United Nations sanctions monitoring and enforcement activity.”

The Royal Navy say that HMS Richmond is now currently alongside in Japan undertaking a planned routine maintenance programme before resuming operations and defence engagement with the Carrier Strike Group.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said in a statement:

“HMS Richmond’s deployment in the East China Sea identified ships acting in suspected breach of UN sanctions and tracked vessels which had previously not been flagged to the Enforcement Coordination Cell.

North Korea’s ambitions to acquire Weapons of Mass Destruction destabilises the region and poses a threat to the world. This vital activity, part of the Carrier Strike Group deployment to the region, has frustrated those ambitions.”

The Commanding Officer, Commander Hugh Botterill MBE, was also quoted as saying:

“Participating in UNSCR enforcement activity has been a critical moment of our CSG 21 deployment. HMS Richmond is proud to have participated in the effort to curtail DPRK’s WMD programmes, reporting on vessels of interest and providing valuable imagery and contact data.

My team located multiple ships of various nationalities apparently acting in contravention of United Nations Security Council sanctions, and located, tracked and approached a number of ships that hadn’t previously been identified to the Enforcement Coordination Cell.”

Over the last month HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group has been conducting a series of exercises with the Japanese, United States and the Republic of Korea, separate to sanctions enforcement, you can read more about that at the Royal Navy website here.

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farouk
farouk
23 days ago

If North Korea decided that the above had offended its honor and sent a few anti-ship missiles in which to express its displeasure would HMS Richmond  be able to defend itself?

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
23 days ago
Reply to  farouk

32x Cell Ceptor Silo (soft-launched), Artisan radar and potentially a 4.5 inch gun, she should be more than capable of intercepting some North Korean anti-ship missiles, which, by the way – are not exactly the most advanced ASHM on the planet (unless there supplied by China and Russia… then there might be a problem!)

Goldilocks
Goldilocks
23 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

If she were to strike back, her harpoon wouldn’t be much use, seeing as most of the North Korean fleet are small boats, and Harpoon ins’t exactly very modern (At least what the RN has, Block 1C) -The helicopter, 4.5 inch gun, 30mm and Martlet/Sea Venom would come in better use. For the record.

Lusty
Lusty
23 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

Her harpoon would be completely useless in this situation as it isn’t fitted! 😉

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
23 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Thanks for the laugh on Monday morning Lol…. 😁

Gareth
Gareth
22 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

Bordering on insanity to send our ships on an actual deployment without the bare minimum of anti-ship capability. I can’t imagine any other navy would take such a risk.

expat
expat
22 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

These would have been civilian NK ships not warships, they tend to meet up and do ship to ship transfers, there’s zero chance of a UK frigate being attacked on this sort of deployment.

Jonathan
Jonathan
22 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Umm well it is the best ASW platform in the world, has a medium gun, lots of light guns and Seaceptor which can be used in the anti surface role as well as a rotor deployment.

Its in the middle of a shipping lane and as it’s not world war three would never have a ROE that allowed it to fling heavyweight anti ship missiles around, that would potentially end in what’s call a war crime.

Last edited 22 days ago by Jonathan
Jonathan
Jonathan
22 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

But I thought a ship being fitted for but not with gave it’s a magic power to use the thing if needed, I’m so disappointed.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
22 days ago
Reply to  Goldilocks

And the Soft kill decoys and other 3 letter sneaky stuff fitted onboard.

Expat
Expat
23 days ago
Reply to  farouk

I doubt they even knew they were under surveillance

BB85
BB85
22 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Maybe she had had the new engines fitted and can cruise over 300 knots 😂

Paul.P
Paul.P
22 days ago
Reply to  BB85

Stealth….now you see me, now you don’t…😁

Merlin
Merlin
20 days ago

What should UK do if one of their ships stray too close and gets sunk by China?