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Canada accuses Chinese warplanes of approaching North Korea sanctions surveillance plane

The Canadian military has accused Chinese warplanes of repeatedly harassing Canadian reconnaissance planes that are helping to enforce UN sanctions against North Korea.

According to the Canadian Armed Forces’ complaint, in some cases, the Chinese fighter jets came so close that the Canadian plane had to change course to avoid a collision.

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Canadian CP-140 Aurora reconnaissance aircraft. Photo: Air Recognition

“During these encounters, the Chinese Air Force (PLAAF) aircraft did not comply with aviation safety standards,” said Dan Le Bouthillier, communications director for the Canadian Armed Forces. such interactions are unprofessional and could jeopardize the safety of Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) members”.

Canadian authorities say such encounters occurred in international airspace during Operation NEON, the country’s contribution to enforcing sanctions against Canada. North Korea. They did not announce a specific date, but said incidents of this type are becoming more and more frequent.

The Canadian aircraft involved was a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft, operating out of Kadena Air Base in Japan. According to Le Bouthillier, the plane flew out of the Okinawa base from April 26 to May 26.

Le Bouthillier added that the Canadian flights within the framework of the NEON operation were aimed at tracking down “suspected activities to evade maritime sanctions, especially the transport of fuel and other cargoes from ships to vessels. ships, which are prohibited by a United Nations Security Council resolution”. These sanctions, enacted between 2006 and 2017, were intended to pressure North Korea to give up its weapons of mass destruction program and respond to nuclear weapons tests and ballistic missile launches. of North Korea,” a Canadian military representative explained.

According to Le Bouthillier, Canada has resolved the issue with Beijing through diplomatic channels.

Chinese officials have not yet responded to a request for comment.

CNN reported that there have been other close encounters between Chinese and foreign warplanes over the years. The worst incident occurred in 2001, when a Chinese fighter jet collided with a US Navy reconnaissance plane over the South China Sea. In that incident, the pilot of Beijing’s F-8 fighter was killed and the American plane had to make an emergency landing on Hainan island of China. China. The 24 American crew members were detained on the Chinese island for 11 days before being released.

Tuan Anh

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