Coast Guard Cutter Conducts DPRK Sanctions Patrol

Two small boat crews deployed aboard Coast Guard Cutter Stratton get underway for a training exercise in the Yellow Sea on Sept. 24. U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Nate Littlejohn

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines — The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Stratton pulled into Puerto Princesa on Oct. 14 for Maritime Training Activity (MTA) Sama Sama following operations in the Yellow Sea where the crew supported United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) enforcement against illicit ship-to-ship transfers that violate sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Coast Guard Pacific Area said in a release. 

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

Stratton personnel captured imagery of suspected illicit ship-to-ship transfers and conducted routine activities to detect, deter and disrupt activities in violation of UNSCR. 

MTA Sama Sama is a maritime exercise designed to promote regional security cooperation, maintain and strengthen maritime partnerships and enhance maritime interoperability. This is the first year the Japanese Maritime Defense Force will participate alongside U.S. and Philippine navy counterparts. 

The exercise will consist of both shore-based and at-sea activities designed to allow participating navies to advance the complex maritime training utilizing diverse naval platforms and operating areas. 

The 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. 

“All of Stratton’s operations are designed in accordance with international law and demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows,” said Capt. Bob Little, Stratton’s commanding officer. “That is as true in the South and East China Seas, as in other places around the globe. Our efforts in support of enforcing U.N. Security Council Resolutions in the Yellow Sea demonstrate that commitment.”