The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark.
"New Zealand has long supported the maintenance of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," said Mr Peters.
"This will be the third such P-3 deployment, following previous deployments in October 2019 and September 2018.
"The full implementation of UNSC sanctions resolutions is an important step towards the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearisation of North Korea. New Zealand's P-3 deployments contribute to the international community's collective efforts to achieve this," said Mr Peters.
The sanctions resolutions, adopted unanimously by the UNSC between 2006 and 2017, are intended to persuade North Korea to denuclearise and abandon its ballistic missile capabilities.
Consistent with prior deployments, the P-3 will be based at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Its maritime surveillance patrol flights will be over international waters in North Asia and will take place in October-November 2020.
The deploying NZDF personnel will undertake all COVID-19 quarantine requirements upon arrival in Japan and upon return to New Zealand.
"This P-3 deployment will help detect and deter North Korea's evasion of UNSC sanctions through illicit maritime practices such as ship-to-ship transfers," said Mr Mark.
"As New Zealand's third P-3 deployment for DPRK sanctions enforcement since 2018, it also reflects the Government's commitment to addressing regional security issues in our Indo-Pacific region."
This announcement relates to decisions made by Cabinet in June 2020.