Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.
The series of UN sanctions, imposed between 2006 and 2017, aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.
Previously conducted under Op PROJECTION Indo-Pacific, Canada now supports this effort under the name “Operation NEON”.
This operation demonstrates the importance that Canada places on security in the Indo-Pacific region, international security and the importance of upholding the UN Security Council sanctions regime. It further demonstrates Canada’s resolve in standing with allies and partners in accordance with Canadian values. This is in line with Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.
On March 26, 2023, it was announced that HMCS Montréal will participate in an upcoming iteration of operation NEON. Additionally, CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft will also take part in the operation over the coming months.
How many people are deployed?
Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members are periodically deployed on Canadian frigates and CP-140 Auroras on Operation NEON alongside countries including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
What are they doing?
Since 2018* and into 2026, Canada periodically deploys military ships, aircraft and personnel to conduct surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR). This contribution will bolster the integrity of the global sanctions regime against North Korea.
History and context of the operation
On April 28, 2019, the Government of Canada announced that Canada was renewing its contribution to the multinational surveillance initiative, for a two year timeframe, to counter North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion. The Government of Canada renewed the mandate once again on April 23, 2021 for a further two years, ensuring Canada’s continued contribution to security in the Indo-Pacific region into 2023. In March 2023, the Government of Canada again renewed the mission, this time until April 2026.
Canadian Armed Forces members participate in this operation alongside countries including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
- September 2022 – HMCS Vancouver deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- April 2022 – CP-140 Auroras deployed
- August 2021 – HMCS Winnipeg deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- October 2020 – HMCS Winnipeg deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- September 2019 – HMCS Ottawa deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- June 2019 – HMCS Regina and Naval Replenishment Unit (NRU) Asterix deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- October 2018* – HMCS Calgary deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
- May 2018* – HMCS Vancouver deployed with a CP-140 Aurora
*Prior to 2019, these activities were conducted under Operation PROJECTION.
Government of Canada
- Canada and the United States advance work to grow our clean economies and create good, middle-class jobs on both sides of our border
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with Prime Minister of Japan Kishida Fumio
- The Canadian Armed Forces begin new operation to help monitor North Korea sanctions
- Canada to participate in initiative to counter North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion
- Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada's Defence Policy
Canada Deploys CP-140 Aurora Aircraft to Japan to Support Implementation of Sanctions Against North Korea
April 6, 2023
Canadian Ships (HMCS) Vancouver and Winnipeg Arrive in Kure, Japan
October 20, 2022
HMCS Vancouver and HMCS Winnipeg in Indo-Pacific region for Operations PROJECTION and NEON
August 15, 2022
The Canadian Armed Forces begin new operation to help monitor North Korea sanctions
June 3, 2019
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