Now, what's actually important is that there's reason to believe North Korea is shipping weapons material: in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution passed a week ago. The material may be on the North Korean ship Kang Nam.
The USS McCain has moved to a position where it can intercept the Kang Nam, but hasn't received orders to do so.
The Security Council resolution seems to be very careful about just what can be done, if North Korea is suspected of smuggling contraband weapons material out.
"...If the North Koreans refuse to allow a US crew to search the ship, the US could order it into the nearest port. Failing that, the USS John McCain could closely follow the ship until it reaches a port. The US would then be entitled to demand, under the UN sanctions agreement, that that country inspect the ship...." (guardian.co.uk)Sounds reasonable.
All Countries are Not the SameOn the other hand, the part about the country on the receiving end being willing - or interested - in inspecting the ship is something I'm not so sure about. The resolution, as described by the Guardian, seems to assume that whatever country is receiving North Korean weapons material will be perfectly willing to do an open and honest inspection.
That assumption might be fairly reasonable, if every country were like America, or Italy, or Indonesia. But, let's say the Kang Nam is headed for Syria.
Does anyone seriously believe that the Syrian government would search the ship and find weapons material? When the shipping order is probably to that reactor that Syria didn't have, at the warehouse - or agricultural lab - that wasn't there? (May 5, 2008)
Still - A Deal is a DealApparently, that's what the resolution says, so the American navy will, I'm confident, abide by it. I'm nowhere near 'sophisticated' enough to believe that the American armed forces are composed mostly of psychotic murderers, sadists, and pathological liars.
As a military source said, "...'This is a very delicate situation and no one is interested in precipitating a confrontation.'..." (FOXNews)
We Come in Peace: But We're Not StupidApparently, anti-missile defense systems are being moved into place near Hawaii, just in case North Korea 'test fires' a 'communications satellite.'
Whatever else can be said about this period: it isn't boring.
- "North Korea, American Journalists, the Internet, and Power to the People"
(June 16, 2009)
- "North Korea and the Kim Jong Dynasty: Not All Countries are the Same"
(June 9, 2009)
- "North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, Brinksmanship, and Miscalculation"
(May 27, 2009)
- "North Korea's City-Busting Nuke, a New Missile, and Diplomacy"
(May 25, 2009)
- "North Korea's Launch: Watch Out for Incoming Communications Satellites?"
(April 7, 2009)
- "North Korea and Missile Concerns: Nations are Not All Identical"
(April 5, 2009)
- "North Korea - Again - Still - North Korea"
(March 26, 2009)
- "Syria Accuses America, North Korea Threatens South Korea: Nothing New Here"
(October 28, 2008)
- "North Korea Un-disables Reactor"
(September 27, 2008)
- "North Korea Disables Reactor: Progress, of a Sort"
(June 27, 2008)
- "Syria, the IAEA, Israel, Claims and Denials"
(June 22, 2008)
- "News, Truth, and Why America is at Fault"
(June 20, 2008)
- "Syria, the IAEA, an Inspection, and a Missing Reactor"
(June 4, 2008)
- "Syria's Reactor and North Korea - Again"
(May 5, 2008)
- "Unilateral Attack Sparks International Condemnation! Syria Had No Reactor! Pay No Attention to the North Koreans!"
(April 26, 2008)
- "Syrian Ambassador: Reactor? That's No Reactor"
(April 24, 2008)
- "Return of the Radioactive Kimchi!! North Korean Nuclear Reactor in Syria Back in the News"
(April 23, 2008)
- "'The Jews Blew Up Our Reactor (Which Does Not Exist)' "
(October 17, 2007)
- "Nuclear Materials from North Korea, Sand, or Radioactive Kimchi?"
(September 18, 2007)
- "US navy prepares to intercept North Korean ship"
guardian.co.uk (June 19, 2009)
- "Nacy Positions Destroyer For Possible Intercept of North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes"
FOXNews (June 19, 2009)
(I'm pretty sure that "Nacy" in the headline is supposed to read "Navy." C and V are adjacent on a qwerty keyboard.)
- "Sub, sonar collision 'inadvertent' "
CHINAdaily (June 15, 2009)