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RAAF P-8A to monitor North Korean sanctions

A RAAF P-8A Poseidon supports sea trials for the NUSHIP Hobart in the Gulf St Vincent off the coast of Adelaide. *** Local Caption *** Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft and P-8A Poseidon aircraft have conducted low level, fast flying operations over the Gulf St Vincent in support of the sea acceptance trials of NUSHIP Hobart. The trials were conducted in standard Defence restricted airspace to test the ship’s systems in a maritime environment. The sea acceptance trials represent the beginning of the formal ship acceptance process in the lead up to delivery of the first Hobart Class Destroyer, NUSHIP Hobart, later this year (2017).An RAAF P-8A Poseidon from the Edinburgh-based 11SQN will be deployed to Japan as part of a multi-national force to monitor the enforcement of a United Nations Security Council resolution against North Korea.

Reports have emerged in recent months of at-sea transfers of fuel, oil and other materials from vessels to North Korean ships in international waters, and the RAAF P-8 will join P-8s, P-3 Orions and other maritime aircraft types from the US, Japan, and other nations.

“The deployment supports the international campaign to address North Korea’s illicit trade and associated networks,” Defence Minister Marise Payne said in an April 28 statement.

“We welcome North Korea’s announcement of a halt to ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing and, from (the) historic inter-Korean dialogue, to work for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” she added. “However, along with our partners, we will continue to apply maximum pressure on North Korea until it takes concrete and verifiable steps to denuclearise.”