• An Australian P8-A Poseidon tracking a ship off the north coast.
    An Australian P8-A Poseidon tracking a ship off the north coast. Defence

Defence is deploying a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to Japan, from where it will conduct maritime surveillance operations to monitor and deter ship‑to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods.

As part of its current deployment to the region HMAS Melbourne will also conduct surveillance patrols with international partners.

“Since 2018, Australia has supported international efforts to deter and disrupt illicit trade and sanctions evasion activities by North Korea and its associated networks,” Defence said in a media release.

“These deployments support ongoing economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.”

Last year Australia deployed maritime patrol aircraft in April, September and December.

HMAS Melbourne is currently undertaking a North East Asia deployment and recently participated in China’s International Fleet Review in Qingdao.

The Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford Jr, this week appointed the ADF’s Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer as the Deputy Commander UN Command Headquarters in South Korea.

It is the first time an Australian will serve as the Deputy Commander of the UN Command Headquarters, Korea, and only the second time in the Command’s 69-year history that this post has been offered to a non-American officer.

North Korea has recently tested new weapons systems, including a ‘new-type tactical guided weapon’ with a ‘peculiar mode of guiding flight’ and a ‘powerful warhead’.

The tests are seen as a response to the collapse of talks between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in Vietnam.

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