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Watch: PM says North Korea a 'threat' and we must enforce sanctions

Jenée Tibshraeny,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Jun 2024, 3:31pm

Watch: PM says North Korea a 'threat' and we must enforce sanctions

Jenée Tibshraeny,
Publish Date
Tue, 18 Jun 2024, 3:31pm

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced New Zealand will increase the frequency and type of assets to support sanctions monitoring.

Speaking to media this afte from Japan, Luxon said a Royal New Zealand naval ship would be deployed on “replenishment” operations in the North Asia area during the second half of this year and next year.

Luxon said it was important that we enforced sanctions against North Korea.

An Anzac-class frigate would be deployed in 2026 and a P8 aircraft would deploy twice a year in 2025 and 2026.

Luxon said New Zealand was part of a UN group of 10 countries that had had a “contribution” in the area.

“This is about us meeting our obligations,” he said, of today’s announcement.

Luxon said to be able to have a regular programme of naval and P8 missions was “really important”.

“We have a very like minded view of the threats in the indo-Pacific region,” Luxon said of New Zealand’s relationship with Japan.

”It’s important we with Japan [and other countries] enforce sanctions against North Korea.”

Following on from the Rocket Lab announcement earlier today, Luxon said there was an opportunity for New Zealand to continue to expand space in general as an industry.

On the defence force plane and it’s unreliability, Luxon said the situation was “incredibly frustrating”.

“I think New Zealanders understand what happen here ... no Government wants to be seen spending money on itself.”

He said the defence force had done an exceptional job to ensure the maintenance on the aircraft was done well.

There was always a “plan b and plan c” with his travel plans for such situations.

Luxon is today putting plane problems in the past, and pushing ahead with a busy schedule in Japan.

This morning, he attended a commercial deal signing that will see Rocket Lab send 10 satellites to space for Japanese company Synspective.

He then went to Costo, where he sampled various New Zealand products for sale in the megastore, including salmon, kiwifruit, apples and cookies.

This afternoon, Luxon will turn his attention to defence, with a tour of the Yokosuka Naval Base, followed by a meeting with Japanese Defence Minister Minoru Kihara.

Luxon is also due to meet his Japanese counterpart on Wednesday.

Both Japan and New Zealand are weighing up what Pillar II of the Aukus defence agreement between Australia, the UK and US could look like, and how they may be involved.

New Zealand continues to walk a tightrope, weighing up how taking a harder line on defence would affect its critical trade relationship with China.

The business delegation Luxon is travelling with has split up to attend various industry-sector events.

Delegates will only be able to spend two, rather than three full days in Japan due to the Defence Force plane breaking down in Papua New Guinea, en route to Japan.

Luxon took off for Japan in a commercial flight as soon as plane issues emerged, enabling him to largely stick to his programme.

The delegation got to Japan on an Auckland to Tokyo Air New Zealand flight, diverted to Brisbane, to collect the group. They arrived on Monday night.

Jenée Tibshraeny is the Herald’s Wellington business editor, based in the Parliamentary press gallery. She specialises in government and Reserve Bank policymaking, economics and banking. She is travelling with the group to Japan.

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