Fox News reports that the U.S. military is planning to intercept a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a recent U.N. Security Council resolution. According to Fox:
The USS John McCain, a navy destroyer, will intercept the ship Kang Nam as soon as it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official. The order to inderdict has not been given yet, but the ship is getting into position.
The North Korean ship reportedly left its port on Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore. It may be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which placed sanctions against Pyongyang just last Friday.
The resolution will not allow U.S. forces to enter the ship by force, meaning that in order to board the ship, U.S. military would have to request permission. Since such a request is unlikely to be granted, many are left wondering how the U.S. intends to intercept the vessel.
According to Fox, “North Korea has said that any attempt to board its ships would be viewed as an act of war and promised ‘100- or 1,000-fold’ retaliation if provoked.”
But the U.S. Navy does not need to step in directly, according to the Fox report. “Instead, it could ‘poison the host,’ a move that entails working behind the scenes with Indian Ocean port authorities to inspect and confiscate illegal cargos.”
Currently, the North Korean ship is being monitored along the Chinese coastline.