Saturday, June 27, 2009

Face Off on the South China Sea

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North Korea's cargo ship will need fuel soon. The 2,080-ton Kangnam left Nampo Port 10 days ago on June 17. It likely will refuel in Singapore or a Vietnamese port. USS John McCain, an Aegis class Destroyer, has been tracking the NK ship under suspicion of transporting WMD related equipment since June 21 and will likely follow it to the fuel port. US and Asian analysts believe NK is supplying Burma with missile parts and has used Burmese ports in the past to transfer arms to various countries including Iran.

The WSJ said in Tuesday's edition several Burmese citizens have direct knowledge of nuclear weapons programs and a reactor being built near Maymyo. Previous reports of Russian scientists hired to assist have added to the growing security concerns. Yale University’s Center for the Study of Globalization, said relations between NK and Burma are now so close that North Korean technicians are working on construction of underground tunnels connecting basement floors of buildings near the remote new Burmese capital of Naypyitaw. Slides HERE:

UN Security Council resolutions do not permit forcible searches of North Korean vessels on the open sea and the US needs authorization to board during refueling. While there is no "smoking gun" (yet) clearly this portends danger.

Whether authorization is given and what any search reveals could begin a series of actions and reactions amounting to lighting a fuse on the resumption of war in Korea.

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-- Pray for Peace --
''I do not reject peace, but I am afraid of war disguised as peace.''
{- Cicero 43 B.C. -}

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