May 1, 2018

Australia Canadian & US Surveillance Aircraft to Monitor North Korean Smuggling

North Korea is reportedly smuggling weapons and drugs (see Youtube above) in exchange for UN sanction banned products like oil or cash.


DEFENCE CONNECT April 30, 2018 reports

“A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft will deploy to Japan to monitor North Korean vessels suspected of transferring prohibited goods in defiance of UN sanctions... Australia will work with both Canada and the United States in its role to uphold this pressure, with reports suggesting the P-8A Poseidon will operate out of the US’ Kadena Air Base in Japan...”


This Australia and Canadian decision to use aircraft to monitor and deter North Korean sanction busting/smuggling is designed to put additional on North Korea in the runup to the Trump-Kim Jong-un meeting. This meeting may take place in the North-South Korea demiliturized zone, perhaps in late May 2018.

The US, South Korea and Japan are likely to have used patrol aircraft for many years to monitor North Korean ship smuggling. But this effort has probably been increased. 

Kadena is a huge air base (employing or contracting nearly 18,000 Americans and more than 4,000 Japanese ) on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

The US is likely deploying E-3B/C Sentries or P-8s as part of this activity. Canada may deploy a (or some) P-3 derivative CP-140 Auroras.

US, South Korean and Japanese submarines could also track North Korea smuggling activities.

See The Guardian, March 31, 2018, North Korea smuggling: dozens of ships and companies blacklisted by UN Wherein North Korean shipping companies that smuggle are “blacklisted” with their assets frozen, global (cannot enter) port bans and deregistered (including removal of insurance cover). Police, coastguards or navies stopping and searching North Korea vessels is less publicized.



Anonymous said...

80% of South Koreans thrust the latest poll.

Over the weekend, there is an editorial on an ROK newspaper stating that if there is a peace treaty, it will be hard to justify the presence of American troops in South Korea. That prospect may not be remote.

Peter Coates said...


I doubt if the neocon/militant Trump/Pompeo/Bolton would accept total withdrawal from South Korea - especially of THAAD, US aircraft and US SSN and SSGN visits to SK ports.

I think it unlikely Kim would make substantial and verifiable de-nuclearisation efforts. With timing and Devil in the Detail

If NK denuclearised it would leave itself open to "peaceful" democratic occupation by a much more attrictive wealthy SK

or the risk of a return of overwelming SK and US forces - remembering the fates of disarmed-regime changed Hussein/Iraq and Gaddafi/Libya.

Also Kim Jong-un (III) would forsake his "dynastic duty" of handing down the grim NK regime to what ever Crown Prince, Kim IV is next.

I wonder how Japan would react to the risk (however slim) NK, quietly backed by China, may takeover SK?