Updated June 11th, 2024 at 19:28 IST

Dutch Warship Intercepted by Chinese Aircraft During UN Sanctions Patrol on North Korea

The Dutch Defense Ministry reported that Chinese fighter jets circled HNLMS Tromp multiple times while it was patrolling the East China Sea.

Reported by: Yuvraj Tyagi
Representational | Image:Dutch Navy
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Bangalore, India: The Netherlands has accused China of provocative actions against its warship HNLMS Tromp. The Dutch Defense Ministry claimed on Friday that Chinese fighter jets circled their frigate, HNLMS Tromp, multiple times. Additionally, a Dutch marine patrol helicopter was approached by two Chinese warplanes and a helicopter during a patrol in the East China Sea.  

The incident occurred as HNLMS Tromp was patrolling to enforce United Nations sanctions on North Korea. The patrol is part of the Pacific Security Maritime Exchange (PSMX), a multinational coalition. The Dutch Defense Ministry stated that these actions created a "potentially unsafe situation."  

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Dutch Ministry: Chinese Jets Created Unsafe Situation  

The ministry's statement detailed the encounter, saying, "In the East China Sea earlier today, two Chinese fighter jets circled the naval ship HNLMS Tromp several times." Furthermore, it noted, "The ship's NH90 maritime combat helicopter was approached by two Chinese fighter jets and a Chinese helicopter during a patrol." This event occurred in international airspace, adding to the gravity of the situation.  

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Despite the incident, HNLMS Tromp continues its mission under 'Pacific Archer '24.' The warship is now en route to Japan, maintaining its planned schedule. Before this patrol, HNLMS Tromp had stopped in Busan, South Korea, for a maritime exercise with the South Korean Navy.  

China's Actions in International Waters Raise Concerns  

The Netherlands' allegations add to a growing list of countries accusing China of unsafe maritime behaviour. Previously, Australia reported that Chinese fighter jets fired flares near its naval destroyer HMAS Hobart. This incident took place in international waters near the Yellow Sea.

In response to these accusations, China has defended its military's actions. Chinese officials claim their operations are necessary for national security. They argue that their responses to perceived provocations are legal and professional.

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Dutch Navy in Exercise Nordic Response, part of Steadfast Defender 24 . 

The Dutch Defense Ministry emphasized the danger of the Chinese manoeuvres. It highlighted the importance of maintaining safe operations in international airspace. The confrontation with Chinese aircraft underscores the risks faced by multinational patrols enforcing UN sanctions.  

The Dutch warship HNLMS Tromp is part of a broader effort to uphold international law. Its mission in the East China Sea is critical to enforcing sanctions on North Korea. These sanctions are part of UN Security Council resolutions aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear program.  

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Meanwhile, the Pacific Security Maritime Exchange remains committed to its mission. Ensuring compliance with UN sanctions on North Korea is a critical objective. The coalition's efforts are vital for global security and stability. The confrontation between HNLMS Tromp and Chinese aircraft has broader implications. 

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Published June 11th, 2024 at 18:20 IST