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U.S. Coast Guard enforces North Korea sanctions in the East China Sea

Capt. John Driscoll, commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750), addresses officers from Japan coast guard on the ship’s flight deck Feb. 7, 2019. Bertholf is on a deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean in support of the U.S. Navy's 7th Fleet. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John Masson

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf pulled into Sasebo March 3 following a deployment in the East China Sea where the crew assisted in United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) enforcement against illicit ship-to-ship transfers that violate North Korea sanctions. 

The Bertholf’s patrol is a part of the United States’ ongoing contribution to international efforts in combatting North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion activity. Ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and goods, like coal, going to and from North Korea are prohibited under UNSCRs.

As both a federal law enforcement agency and an armed force, the Coast Guard is uniquely positioned to conduct defense operations in support of combatant commanders on all seven continents. The service routinely provides forces in joint military operations worldwide, including the deployment of cutters, boats, aircraft and deployable specialized forces. 

The crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf (WMSL 750) is on patrol of the Western Pacific Ocean Jan. 22, 2019.  The crew aims to improve regional governance and security and enhance partner nations’ maritime capabilities. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer John Masson

Bertholf departed its homeport of Alameda, California, Jan. 20, for the deployment to the Western Pacific in support of United States Indo-Pacific Command, which oversees military operations in the region. Operating under the tactical control of commander, 7th Fleet, the cutter plans to engage in professional exchanges and capacity building with partner nations and patrol and operate as directed. 

The U.S. Coast Guard has an enduring role in the Indo-Pacific, going back over 150 years. The service’s ongoing deployment of resources to the region directly supports U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives in the Indo-Pacific Strategy and the National Security Strategy.

“The United States is a Pacific nation,” said Vice Adm. Linda Fagan, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, who oversees the cutter. “We have deep and long-standing ties with our partners in the region, and more importantly, we share a strong commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, governed by a rules-based international system that promotes peace, security, prosperity and sovereignty of all nations.”

Prior to the patrol in the East China Sea, Bertholf pulled into U.S. Naval Base Yokosuka, Japan, where the cutter hosted officers of the Japan coast guard aboard. 

“The U.S. Coast Guard is proud to operate with our Pacific counterparts,” said Fagan. “Together we are dedicated to enhancing our capabilities and strengthening maritime governance and security while promoting individual sovereignty.”

 


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