A patrol aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force landed on Saturday prior to its deployment in Japan to aid oversight of North Korean ship smuggling operations.
The CP-140 Aurora will join a multinational with 40 Canadian workers Efforts to monitor and combat North Korean smuggling activities to circumvent UN Security Council sanctions
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in Declaration that Canada wants to support sanctions to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program
"To this end, the Canadian Government today announces its participation in an initiative to combat North Korea's smuggling of sea, in particular the use of maritime transport UN Security Council Resolutions Canada has deployed a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) naval patrol aircraft in the region to support these efforts, in addition to those provided by the United States and the United Kingdom assets, "the statement said.
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The term "ship-to-ship transfer" refers to the movement of cargo between ships positioned side by side at sea, a tactic generally believed to be used by North Korea to circumvent the international sanctions regime.
In February, the Japanese Foreign Ministry published photographs showing three separate examples of North Korean ships being transported from ship to ship.
Two of the cases involved tankers from Belize and the Maldives, while the third involved a ship of unknown nationality.
North Korea's ship-to-ship transfers are likely to involve the illegal import of oil and gas products, said Simon Palamar, research associate at the Center for International Governance Innovation at Waterloo, Ont.
"That's probably what people are looking for … crude oil, gasoline, kerosene, refined petroleum products," Palamar told Global National correspondent Abigail Bimman.
Canada and its allies hope they will be able to increase the effectiveness of sanctions by containing shipments of North Korean shipments that drove the country's crude oil imports far below annual demand.
The monitoring mission follows on from the historic inter-Korean summit in which North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in ahead of his expected summit with US President Donald Trump.
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The Japanese government welcomed Canada's participation in the mission and said in a statement that the Canadian aircraft would be stationed in the Kadena Air Force Base of the US military on the southern island of Okinawa.
Canada's Department of National The defense says the Canadian military will stay in Japan as long as necessary – given South Korea's patience and readiness to play the long game in negotiations with its nuclear-armed neighbor, experts say it could take years ,
Using files from Global National correspondent Abigail Bimman
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