Canadian armed forces begin operation NEON to monitor North Korea

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are deploying ships and a maritime patrol aircraft, under Operation NEON, to ensure sanctions are imposed against North Korea, this month. The detachment will include a Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Regina (FFH 334), Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix and a CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft are contributing to this new operation.

Canadian armed forces begin operation NEON to monitor North Korea Canadian Navy ships to begin operation NEON (Picture Source: Canadian Navy)

Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea. These UN sanctions, imposed between 2006 and 2017, aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.

During 2019 and 2020 and into 2021, Canada will periodically deploy military ships, aircraft and personnel to conduct surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular, ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR). This contribution will bolster the integrity of the global sanctions regime against North Korea.

Operation NEON demonstrates the importance that Canada places on security in the Asia-Pacific region, international security and the importance of upholding the UN Security Council sanctions regime. It further demonstrates Canada’s resolve in standing with allies and partners in accordance with Canadian values.

‎”Canadians can be proud of the work the Canadian Armed Forces are doing alongside our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. This includes contributions to Operation NEON as part of the United Nations Security Council sanctions. These sanctions play a key role in supporting global security and prosperity in the region”, said Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

“Canada’s contribution to this multinational initiative in support of peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is now being conducted under a newly named operation, Operation NEON. The Canadian Armed Forces remains steadfast as we continue to provide assets and exceptional professionals alongside our regional allies and partners”, said Lieutenant-General Mike Rouleau, Commander, Canadian Joint Operations Command.

Starting in early June 2019, CP-140 Aurora, crew and supporting personnel, operating from Japan, will contribute to efforts to counter sanction evasion and up to three CAF members will embed permanently into the Enforcement Coordination Cell within the multinational staff Headquarters. HMCS Regina and Naval Replenishment Unit Asterix will join the international maritime monitoring mission later this month.