US Stops North Korean Ship on Suspected Burma Mission

Posted June 13th, 2011 at 3:45 am (UTC-5)
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The United States says its navy intercepted a North Korean ship suspected of carrying missile technology to Burma, and forced the vessel to return home after a standoff lasting several days.

Gary Samore, special assistant to U.S. President Barack Obama, identified the cargo vessel as the M/V Light. He said the ship was suspected of carrying contraband, such as small arms or missile technology to Burma.

The U.S. Navy destroyer McCampbell intercepted the Belize-flagged vessel in international waters on May 26 and had permission from Belize to search it. But the North Koreans refused to be boarded, and after a few days of military confrontation and diplomatic pressure, turned toward home.

U.S. officials described the episode as an example of how they can use a combination of naval power and diplomatic pressure to enforce U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea after a 2009 nuclear test.