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U.s. Military Tracking North Korean Ship

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U.S. Military Tracking North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

A ship named Kang Nam left a port in North Korea Wednesday and could be carrying missile parts or nuclear materials in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The U.S. military is tracking a flagged North Korean ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The ship, Kang Nam, left a port in North Korea Wednesday and could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials. The U.S. military has been tracking it since its departure.

"It is believed to be 'of interest,'" a senior U.S. official told FOX News.

This is the first suspected "proliferator" that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world's navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it.

The resolution would not allow the United States to forcibly board the ship. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board -- a request North Korea is unlikely to grant.

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.

If there is cause to pursue the ship, sources told FOX News the U.S. military would instead likely follow the slow-moving vessel until it goes into port to refuel.

At that point, sources said, the U.S. military could request that the host country not provide fuel to the ship.

The Kang Nam is known to be a ship that has been involved in proliferation activities in the past -- it is "a repeat offender," according to one military source.

FOX News' Jennifer Griffin and Justin Fishel contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/18...apons-material/

This is all starting to sound like the "40mins to destruction" ramping we heard leading up to the Iraq war.

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Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 4:55 PM on 18th June 2009

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii's main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

Details of the launch came from the Japan's best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun.

Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch, according to the report.

It is understood the communist state is likely to fire the missile between July 4 and 8. A launch on July 4 would coincide with Independence Day in the States.It would also be the 15th anniversary of North Korean president Kim Il-Sung's death.

The Japanese newspaper also noted that North Korea had fired its first Taepodong-2 missile on July 4, 2006.

Officials had initially believed that North Korea might attempt to launch a similar device towards either Japan's Okinawa island, Guam or Hawaii.

But the ministry concluded launches toward Okinawa or Guam were 'extremely unlikely' because the first-stage booster could drop into waters off China, agitating Beijing, or hit western Japanese territory.

If the missile were fired in the direction of Hawaii, the booster could drop in the Sea of Japan.

News of the launch would put 'enormous military pressure on the United States,' the Yomiuri said, citing the ministry report.

A spokesman for the Japanese Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.

South Korea's Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service - the country's main spy agency - said they could not confirm it.

Tension on the divided Korean peninsula has risen markedly since the North, led by Kim Jong-il, conducted two nuclear tests this year in defiance of repeated international warnings

The first rocket, fired in April, was widely seen as a disguised long-range missile test. A second launch came on May 25.

U.S. satellite intelligence has shown that a missile launch pad had been erected at Dongchang-ri on North Korea's north-west coast.

General James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would take at least three to five years for North Korea to pose a real threat to the U.S. west coast.

The UN Security Council last week authorised member states to inspect North Korean sea, air and land cargo, requiring them to seize and destroy goods shipped that violate the sanctions against arms export.

On Saturday, in response to this declaration Pyongyang said it would bolster its nuclear programs and threatened war.

Growing tensions come as arms-watchdog the International Crisis Group (ICG) claimed North Korea has several thousand tonnes of chemical weapons it could mount on missiles.

The report from the non-government organisation said they believed the North's army have about 2,500 to 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons which include mustard gas, sarin and other deadly nerve agents.

ICG also also warned South Korea may become a target.

'If there is an escalation of conflict and if military hostilities break out, there is a risk that they could be used. In conventional terms, North Korea is weak and they feel they might have to resort to using those,' said Daniel Pinkston, the ICG's representative in Seoul.

The North has been working on chemical weapons for decades and can deliver them through long-range artillery directed on Seoul which is home to about half of South Korea's 49 million people and via missiles that could hit all of the country

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/...ndence-Day.html

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Japan warns that North Korea may fire missile at U.S. on Independence Day

By Mail Foreign Service

Last updated at 4:55 PM on 18th June 2009

North Korea may launch a long-range ballistic missile towards Hawaii on American Independence Day, according to Japanese intelligence officials.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles, would be launched in early July from the Dongchang-ni site on the north-western coast of the secretive country.

Intelligence analysts do not believe the device would be capable of hitting Hawaii's main islands, which are 4,500 miles from North Korea.

Details of the launch came from the Japan's best-selling newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun.

Both Japanese intelligence and U.S. reconnaissance satellites have collated information pointing to the launch, according to the report.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/...ndence-Day.html

Another fine example of beating the war drums.

It's almost as if they're trying to conjure the ghost of Pearl Harbor with this story.

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If there is any truth in this, I wonder what they think would be the result of such an action :blink:

This looks like war ramping to me. North Korea would never even attempt an attack unless provoked.

This type of "news" is a good way of rallying the public against "the badies" prior to some form of military action though.

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I would guess North Korea are looking at Iran over the last week and sh*tting their pants!

...it's like Flash Gordon - where people are repressed you will find lots of allies on the ground

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Update.

Navy Positions Destroyer For Possible Intercept of North Korean Ship Suspected of Proliferating Missiles, Nukes

The USS John McCain, a Navy destroyer, is preparing in case of orders to intercept a North Korean ship when it leaves the vicinity off the coast of China, according to a senior U.S. defense official.

FOXNews.com

Friday, June 19, 2009

The U.S. military is preparing for a possible intercept of a North Korean flagged ship suspected of proliferating weapons material in violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last Friday, FOX News has learned.

The USS John McCain, a Navy destroyer, is positioning itself in case it gets orders to 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 moving into the area.

"Permission has not been requested. Nor is it clear it will be," a military source told FOX News. "This is a very delicate situation and no one is interested in precipitating a confrontation."

The ship left a port in North Korea Wednesday and appears to be heading toward Singapore, according to a senior U.S. military source. The vessel, which the military has been tracking since its departure, could be carrying weaponry, missile parts or nuclear materials, a violation of U.N. Resolution 1874, which put sanctions in place against Pyongyang.

The USS McCain was involved in an incident with a Chinese sub last Friday - near Subic Bay off the Philippines. The Chinese sub was shadowing the destroyer when it hit the underwater sonar array that the USS McCain was towing behind it.

This is the first suspected "proliferator" that the U.S. and its allies have tracked from North Korea since the United Nations authorized the world's navies to enforce compliance with a variety of U.N. sanctions aimed at punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test.

The ship is currently along the coast of China and being monitored around-the-clock by air.

The apparent violation raises the question of how the United States and its allies will respond, particularly since the U.N. resolution does not have a lot of teeth to it.

The resolution would not allow the United States to board the ship forcibly. Rather, U.S. military would have to request permission to board -- a request North Korea is unlikely to grant.

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.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that the resolution allows states to seek permission to inspect cargo.

"If permission is not granted, then the flag state, the owner of the ship, is instructed to send that ship to a port for -- for a formal inspection to be made," Kelly said, adding that he would not go into any details of any particular ship or the way inspections are conducted.

"We would hope that -- that North Korea would -- would comply with international law and -- and allow the inspection," he said.

Since the U.S. does not expect to be granted permission, it expects to be asked to interdict that it will have to shadow the ship until it runs out of fuel. At that point, the ship would likely have to be towed into the port.

The U.S. military may request that the host country not provide fuel to the ship when it enters its port. North Korean merchant ships usually need fuel as they approach Singapore and the ports of eastern India. When tipped off, Indian port authorities are stringent enforcers of UN sanctions against ships carrying contraband.

The U.S. Navy does not need to enforce the sanctions. 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.

This move worked last year when U.S. officials reportedly warned Indian officials in advance of a North Korean transport aircraft that had requested permission to fly through Indian airspace on the way to Iran after stopping in Burma to refuel. The Indians refused to allow the aircraft to fly through their airspace. The aircraft reportedly was carrying gyroscopes for ballistic missiles.

The Kang Nam is known to be a ship that has been involved in proliferation activities in the past -- it is "a repeat offender," according to one military source. The ship was detained in October 2006 by authorities in Hong Kong after the North Koreans tested their first nuclear device and the U.N. imposed a subsequent round of sanctions.

"North Korea does not export anything other than weapons," a U.S. official told FOX News. "And this ship is presumed to be carrying something illicit given its past history."

The latest tension follows a Japanese news report that North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the military is "watching" that situation "very closely," and would have "some concerns" if North Korea launched a missile in the direction of Hawaii. But he expressed confidence in U.S. ability to handle such a launch.

Gates said he's directed the deployment of the Theater High Altitude Area Defense, a mobile missile defense system used for knocking down long- and medium-range missiles.

"The ground-based interceptors are clearly in a position to take action. So, without telegraphing what we will do, I would just say ... I think we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect the American territory."

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/19...missiles-nukes/

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Russia receiving 'relevant' intel on N. Korea missiles

Fri, 19 Jun 2009 14:14:03 GMT

Russian military says its reconnaissance units are relaying 'relevant information' on potential missile launches by North Korea.

On Friday, a senior Russian military official said the country's armed forces had alerted its entire surveillance squad to the possibility of a Pyongyang-led ballistic missile launch, Interfax reported.

With this aim in view, the units had started tracking ballistic missile launches worldwide.

First deputy of the military general staff, Lt. Gen. Alexander Burutin said that "the national systems to detect missile tests are being employed to this end, and therefore we are receiving relevant information."

The development came two days after the Korea delivered the most vigorous warning yet to the world nations censuring its nuclear activities and its decision to 'weaponize' its plutonium output.

Pyongyang said that "the nuclear program is not the monopoly of the US," -- its loudest critic. It also threatened a 'one-thousand-fold' response to any potential 'infringements' on its sovereignty.

Conducting a series of missile launches and a late May nuclear test, the North invited spates of worldwide criticism led by Washington, which had already branded the country as a 'rogue state'.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/98510.htm?sectionid=351020602

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