Archive for Wednesday, June 24, 2009

N. Korean cargo ship could test new sanctions

June 24, 2009


— An American destroyer tailed a North Korean ship Tuesday as it sailed along China’s coast, U.S. officials said, amid concerns the vessel is carrying illicit arms destined for Myanmar.

The sailing sets up the first test of a new U.N. Security Council resolution that authorizes member states to inspect North Korean vessels suspected of carrying banned weapons or materials. The sanctions are punishment for an underground nuclear test the North carried out last month in defiance of past resolutions.

A U.S. official said last week that the American destroyer has no orders to intercept the ship, but experts say the vessel will need to stop to refuel soon. The resolution prohibits member states from providing such services to ships accused of bearing banned goods.

Nearby Singapore — the world’s largest refueling hub — says it will “act appropriately” if the ship docks at its port with suspicious goods on board.

Meanwhile, U.S. defense and counterproliferation officials said Tuesday that an impending missile test threatened by North Korea is expected to launch short- to medium-range missiles rather than a long-range missile similar to one tested in April. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.

Japanese media have reported that the North Koreans appear to be preparing for a long-range test planned sometime around July 4 and to be fired toward Hawaii.

The North Korean-flagged Kang Nam left the port of Nampo last Wednesday, with the U.S. destroyer following it. Two Pentagon officials described a relay operation in which the destroyer USS John S. McCain would hand over surveillance of the ship to the destroyer USS McCampbell. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.

The North has said it would consider any interception “an act of war,” and an editorial Tuesday in its main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the Korean peninsula was on the brink of a nuclear war.

“A grave situation is being forged in the Korean peninsula where a nuclear war could happen with any accidental factor due to the sanctions,” said the editorial carried on the government-run Uriminzokkiri Web site.

But an armed skirmish is unlikely, analysts say, though the North Korean crew may have rifles.

“A cargo ship can’t confront a warship,” said Baek Seung-joo of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.


jaywalker 9 years ago

New report just came out that N. Korea says if their ship is stopped it will be "an act of war" AND that they will "wipe the imperialist U.S. off the map". Swell.

Easy 9 years ago

I'm sure "The Great One" will sit on his hands and let Dear Leader walk all over him.

craigers 9 years ago

This will definitely test Obama. Let's just see what happens...

Leslie Swearingen 9 years ago

Membership in 2009 The Security Council of the United Nations The Council is composed of five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — and ten non-permament members (with year of term's end): Austria (2010) Japan (2010)
Uganda (2010) Burkina Faso (2009) Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (2009)
Viet Nam (2009) Costa Rica (2009)
Mexico (2010)
Croatia (2009)
Turkey (2010)
So, how come when the security council makes a resolution only the United States can carry it out? Do none of these other countries have ships on the high seas? I believe that Great Britain has some warships. I say let them follow the bad guys around for a while.

Easy 9 years ago

The UN has about as much clout as PETA

jonas_opines 9 years ago

It's not like Kim Jong Il is ever going to actually Do anything other than yap.

average 9 years ago

Does 'Easy' have a better suggestion?

I mean, Bush had eight years to send in the Marines, and didn't. What might you suggest Obama do?

bankboy119 9 years ago


The US is following at this point because the ship is expected to fire towards Hawaii. At this point I haven't looked up the article I read a few days ago off of...CNN I believe (maybe it was LJworld?) but basically China said if the US doesn't handle this they will straighten North Korea up. They're more worried about the effects the war would have on China because they sit closer to North Korea than we do.

bankboy119 9 years ago

"Japanese media have reported that the North Koreans appear to be preparing for a long-range test planned sometime around July 4 and to be fired toward Hawaii."

From the story :)

jaywalker 9 years ago


You're readin' too much into that, bankboy. O-Bob's correct, the ship is believed to be carrying weapons to Myanmar which would be against recent sanctions. The missile test will be coming from inside N. Korea, I seriously doubt they have the technology for a ship to shore launch.

bankboy119 9 years ago

Yes. But from an earlier report (sorry this is from FOX because I couldn't find it searching on CNN):

"The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang. "

"The latest tension follows a Japanese news report that North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July. "

I interpreted that to mean they were going to fire from Myanmar with the components that were on the ship. I didn't mean from the ship itself...though I did not proofread. My apologies. It's hard to fire from a cargo ship.

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