The Canadian navy and air force will begin regular deployments to help enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the Department of National Defence said Monday.

The announcement was made following a meeting between Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and his Japanese counterpart, Takeshi Iwaya, in Tokyo. 

The deployments — known as Operation Neon — will involve a rotation of frigates, possibly submarines, and maritime patrol aircraft.

The department announced in a statement, that HMCS Regina and the replenishment ship MV Asterix will be the first contribution.

Both vessels recently participated in security and counter-terrorism patrols —  known as combined task force 150 — in waters off the Middle East and east Africa.

Sanctions over nuclear program

The missions off North Korea will take place periodically over the two years and will be aimed at supporting sanctions, which are intended to force the regime in Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program.  

“These sanctions play a key role in supporting global security and prosperity in the region,” Sajjan said in a statement.

Also following the meeting on Monday, the two ministers laid down more details on how Canada and Japan will co-operate more closely on defence matters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, discussed better military co-operation at their meeting in Ottawa at the end of April.

The two countries will, among other things, work together to improve peacekeeping. There will also be regular navy and air force exchanges.