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U.S., All-Direction Pursuit on North Korean Ships

Posted October. 25, 2006 07:06,   


It was informed on October 24 that the U.S. is currently monitoring and tracking North Korean ships as a result of the resolution against North Korea and the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI).

The South Korean government is known to have received intelligence from the U.S. government stating that it is tracking the route of North Korean ships which are suspected to be carrying either nuclear material or military equipment.

The U.S. is in pursuit of a North Korean ship that is suspected to have departed from the Nampo port of North Korea on October 20. This vessel has a historical record of transporting military equipment. The U.S. is closely discussing measures and whether or not to inspect the ships with the PSI participants.

However, it is known that the U.S. is not providing South Korea, which is acting passively on the PSI, information pertaining to the ships that sail around the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

The U.S. government requested Hong Kong authorities to search through the freight vessel Kangnam-1, to which the Hong Kong Marines detained and inspected the ship. This is the first inspection conducted on a North Korean ship since the U.N. Security Council resolution was passed.

The U.S. sent the frigate USS Gary to Hong Kong with guided missiles on board and prepared for an inspection of Kangnam-1.

The inspection done by the Hong Kong Marines revealed that the freight of the Kangnam-1, which is a 2,035-ton sized general cargo ship that can carry 22 passengers, was empty, and no evidence of weapons of mass destruction-related equipment, money, weapons, nor luxury goods were found on board.

This ship is currently at anchor in the western district. This ship departed Shanghai, China, on August 20, passed Indonesia, entered the Shanghai port, and then arrived in Hong Kong on October14.

“A total of 25 violations were uncovered during the inspection” said the Hong Kong Marines, “And 12 of them relate to the violation of the Port State Control, which includes route secession, inadequate life saving and fire prevention equipment, and an outdated hydrographic chart.” It added, “Kangnam-1 is the ninth ship to be inspected in Hong Kong, and six of them were detained.”

According to the South China Morning Post, the captain of the ship, who remained anonymous, said, “This ship is returning to the Nampo port through Taiwan, and I have never heard of any nuclear experiment or cargo restraints.”

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