Australia to send military aircraft to monitor North Korean ships
Australia will send a military patrol aircraft to monitor North Korean vessels suspected of transferring prohibited goods in defiance of United Nations sanctions, Defence Minister Marise Payne said on Saturday.
The announcement came a day after the leaders of North and South Korea pledged at a historic summit to work for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
However, U.S. President Donald Trump, who is also set to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said he would maintain pressure on Pyongyang through sanctions that were imposed in a bid to rein in the North’s missile and nuclear programmes.
Australia, a staunch U.S. ally, also promised to keep up economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.
“Australia is to send a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft to Japan to contribute to the enforcement of United Nations Security Council resolutions in our region,” Payne said in a media release.
“The deployment supports the international campaign to address North Korea’s illicit trade and associated networks,” she said.
Senior U.S. officials said in February the Trump administration and key Asian allies were preparing to expand interceptions of ships suspected of violating the sanctions on North Korea. The strategy called for closer tracking of ships suspected of carrying banned weapons components and other prohibited cargo to and from North Korea.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said pressure had to be kept on North Korea to ensure the Korean peninsula was denuclearised.
Japanese media outlet NHK initially reported unidentified Japanese defence sources as saying Australia and Canada would send patrol aircraft, while Britain would also send a frigate to a U.S. base in southern Japan to monitor North Korean vessels transferring goods at sea.
At least 35 people died amid heavy rainfall in northeastern Brazil on Friday and Saturday, as downpours lashed two major cities on the Atlantic coast, in what is the South American nation's fourth major flooding event in five months. In the state of Pernambuco, at least 33 people had died as of Saturday afternoon, as rains provoked landslides that wiped away hillside urban neighborhoods, according to the state's official Twitter account.
Myanmar nationals staying in Bangladesh as refugees could turn to extremism, Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen said on Saturday, as he sought help from India and other countries in the region to repatriate them. External affairs minister S Jaishankar, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and ambassadors and high commissioners of several southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, attended the session.
Passengers at an airport in Brazil's second-largest city of Rio de Janeiro were in for a shock when electronic displays at the facility began showing pornographic scenes--instead of advertisements and flight information--in an apparent case of hacking. Santos Dumont is the second airport in Rio de Janeiro, after the main Gaelao International Airport. Named after Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos Dumont, it is both a public and military facility.
At least 31 people died in Nigeria on Saturday during a stampede at a church in the southern Rivers state, a police spokesperson said. Hundreds of people who had turned up to receive food at the church early on Saturday broke through a gate, causing the stampede, police spokesperson for Rivers state, Grace Iringe-Koko said.
The Kremlin said Russian President Vladimir Putin told the leaders of France and Germany on Saturday that Moscow was willing to discuss ways to make it possible for Ukraine to resume shipments of grain from Black Sea ports. Putin spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz over the phone.