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China endangers the safety of our plane crew near North Korea

Chinese fighter jets reportedly harassed a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) plane ‘repeatedly’ from April 26 to May 26 as it attempted to monitor possible sanctions-busting activities by Pyongyang in space international airline near North Korea, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The Canadian Armed Forces issued a statement on June 1 decrying recent interactions between its CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft and “several” unspecified warplanes deployed by the Air Force. People’s Liberation Army (PLAAF) of China.

The press release said, in part:

During these interactions, PLAAF aircraft failed to meet international aviation safety standards. These interactions are unprofessional and/or endanger the safety of our CRA staff. In some cases, the RCAF crew felt sufficiently at risk that they had to quickly alter their own flight path in order to increase separation and avoid a potential collision with the intercepting aircraft.

PLAAF jets reportedly attempted to ‘hijack’ the Canada patrol aircraft from its flight path during the interactions. The Canadian Armed Forces further revealed that the PLAAF’s harassment of its aircraft near North Korea between April and May was not an isolated incident, but rather indicative of behavior that has increased in frequency in recent months. . The Canadian military said it had taken up the belligerent actions “through diplomatic channels” with Beijing. The Chinese government has yet to comment on the allegations.

The RCAF deployed a CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft and support personnel to Kadena, Japan from April 26 to May 26 in an operation called “Op Neon”. The program is Canada’s contribution to a United Nations (UN)-led monitoring program that monitors waters near North Korea for possible violations of international sanctions against Pyongyang.

The Canadian military describes “Op Neon” as an effort to support UN Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea between 2006 and 2017 aimed at “pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapons testing and ballistic missile launches.” .”

“Op NEON sees military vessels, aircraft and personnel deployed to conduct surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities prohibited by United Nations Security Council resolutions,” the Canadian Armed Forces said. written on June 1.

UN Security Council sanctions imposed on North Korea in 2017 included “a ban on the sale of natural gas liquids to the Northeast Asian nation and its textile exports – while banning also on member states to provide work permits to its nationals,” according to a UN press release.

China, which borders North Korea, has loose economic relations with Pyongyang, although the two communist countries have long enjoyed a flawedly balanced relationship. Western observers have often accused Beijing of helping North Korea circumvent international sanctions by supporting illicit trade with the impoverished nation.


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