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US Won’t Use Force To Inspect NK Ships

From a relieved New York Times:

A North Korean ship, the Kang Nam I, is anchored in Hong Kong waters on Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2006.

U.S. to Confront, Not Board, North Korean Ships


June 17, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will order the Navy to hail and request permission to inspect North Korean ships at sea suspected of carrying arms or nuclear technology, but will not board them by force, senior administration officials said Monday.

The new effort to intercept North Korean ships, and track them to their next port, where Washington will press for the inspections they refused at sea, is part of what the officials described as “vigorous enforcement” of the United Nations Security Council resolution approved Friday.

approach taken by the United States in dealing with North Korea in years, and carries a riskThe planned American action stops just short of the forced inspections that North Korea has said that it would regard as an act of war. Still, the administration’s plans, if fully executed, would amount to the most confrontational of escalating tensions at a time when North Korea has been carrying out missile and nuclear tests.

In discussing President Obama’s strategy on Monday, administration officials said that the United States would report any ship that refused inspection to the Security Council. While the Navy and American intelligence agencies continued to track the ship, the administration would mount a vigorous diplomatic effort to insist that the inspections be carried out by any country that allowed the vessel into port.

The officials said that they believed that China, once a close cold war ally, would also enforce the new sanctions, which also require countries to refuse to refuel or resupply ships suspected of carrying out arms and nuclear technology.

“China will implement the resolution earnestly,” said Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said.

One official in Washington said the administration was told by their Chinese counterparts that China “would not have signed on to this resolution unless they intended to enforce it.”

The strategy of ordering ships to stop but not provoking military action by boarding them was negotiated among Washington, Beijing and Moscow. It is unclear to what degree South Korea or Japan, at various times bitter adversaries of North Korea, would order their naval forces to join in the effort to intercept suspected shipments at sea, largely because of fears about what would happen if North Korean ships opened fire…

The resolution authorizes nations to seek to stop suspect North Korean shipments on the high seas, but they do not authorize forcible boarding or inspections. “The captains will be confronted,” one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing a security operation that America’s key allies had only been partially briefed on.

Even if they refused to allow inspections, the official said, “These guys aren’t going to get very far.”

While the captain of a ship may refuse inspection, as the North Koreans almost certainly would, the Obama administration officials noted that most North Korean vessels have limited range and would have to seek out ports in search of fuel and supplies…

Mr. Obama’s decisions about North Korea stem from a fundamentally different assessment of the North’s intentions than that of previous administrations. Nearly 16 years of on-and-off negotiations — punctuated by major crises in 1994 and 2003 — were based on an assumption that ultimately, the North was willing to give up its nuclear capability.

A review, carried out by the Obama administration during its first month in office, concluded that North Korea had no intention of trading away what it calls its “nuclear deterrent” in return for food, fuel and security guarantees.

Mr. Obama’s aides have said that while the new president is willing to re-engage in either the talks with North Korea and its neighbors, or in direct bilateral discussions, he will not agree to an incremental dismantlement of the North’s nuclear facilities…

If the Obama administration announces the US will not use force to board these ships, what chance do will we have of ever getting to inspect them?

Surely the order has already gone out to refuse any requests for inspection.

This is a preposterously hollow threat, even for Mr. Obama.

In discussing President Obama’s strategy on Monday, administration officials said that the United States would report any ship that refused inspection to the Security Council.

We should also tell the captain’s mother.

The strategy of ordering ships to stop but not provoking military action by boarding them was negotiated among Washington, Beijing and Moscow.

Which maybe explains why it has no chance of succeeding whatsoever.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “US Won’t Use Force To Inspect NK Ships”

  1. Howard Roark says:

    So, if we believe a N.K. ship is carrying nuclear weapons, we’ll track the ship instead of boarding it, and when it arrives at whatever country was buying nuclear weapons from them, Washington will press for the inspections they refused at sea. I see.

    That is what you call “strong leadership”, eh? What happens when Iran or some other Arab nation refuses the Almighty Obama’s “pressing” to invade their harbor and inspect one of their friendly shipping vessels?

    Barry is effectively castrating our military, mission by mission.

  2. Petronius says:

    Steve: “We should also tell the captain’s mother.”

    Yes, perhaps, but only after reading the mother her Miranda rights.

    I gather that the White House determined that inspection of these North Korean vessels would be an unconstitutional search and seizure?

    That reminds me. Has Hillary put North Korea back on the terror list yet? Or is that still hung up in legal review? Somebody please tell DOJ to get a move on. We’ll all feel a lot safer when they put North Korea on the list.

  3. tranquil.night says:

    Well, we pretty much know who to blame already when terrorists set off a chain of NorCom nukes across cities of the West.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Barry will then have his comrades run up his “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner on the front of the “Peoples’ House”!

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      It is doubtful that the MSM will remove Barry’s organ from their mouth long enough to even report on it. And if they do, it will have a curious spin on it to somehow make it Bush’s fault.

      MSM: Mr President, we understand that you have expressed strong misgivings about the latest events where 8,000 Americans died as a result of a man-made-disaster.

      Blammo: Yes, and…..let me say thisssssss……..uhhhhhhhhhh……..were it not for the previousssss administration’ssssss uhhhhhhh……. existenssssssssssssss……..uhhhhhhh……………..thisssssss event would have been more easily controlled by me.

  4. proreason says:

    The world won’t like Obamy if he forceably boards ships.

    So it will never happen, no matter how grave the threat to the US and our allies.

    After all, he already rules this country.

    • Right of the People says:

      “I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won! I won!” Screamed Barry as he ran around the room, his ears flapping. “By the way, did you hear? I won! Yes I did. Want to see my cool airplane?”

  5. JohnMG says:

    …..”The officials said that they believed that China, once a close cold war ally, would also enforce the new sanctions…..”

    How comforting. These officials BELIEVE that China would enforce the sanctions. Just like administration officials GUESSED wrong on the unemployment numbers.

    Can’t we send these children to their rooms for a “time out” for being so stupid? There isn’t ONE CRITICAL THINKER in the whole of Obama’s administration. Not one!!

    • proreason says:

      Their actions are completely deliberate, John.

      If they had the well-being of the country in mind, it might be an issue of critical thinking.

      But when you see consistency of action across a wide range of issues…….it’s indicative of an agenda, not thoughtlessness.

    • JohnMG says:

      …..”it’s indicative of an agenda, not thoughtlessness……”

      Sadly, I fear you’re right, pro. But what baffles me the most is that the whole gaggle of ne’er-do-wells all feel the same way. Is there not one of them that is having a twinge of guilt at selling this country down the river? Are they all traitors? They can’t possibly all be subversives, can they? Aren’t at least a couple of them feeling betrayed by now? I just can’t believe they’re all willing dupes without the will to rebel. For a while I thought Panetta had come to his senses concerning Pelosi. Then he goes and shoots his mouth off about Cheney. He almost found himself but instead sold his soul to that soulless party. For that, he should roast in hell! But are all of them that way? That’s hard to believe.

    • proreason says:

      “They can’t possibly all be subversives, can they?”

      They have stewed in the warm cesspool of the education system / media propaganda / power-mad political process for 40 to 70 years.

      Yes, the leaders are all subversives. They are ardent believers is one-world’ism, fascism, socialism, government power and their own infinite wisdom. They have been brainwashed since they were children, and their success in pursueing those goals simply reinforces their confidence in thier god-like wisdom.

      And they are all toadies to boot. Toadying has made them all gazillionaires. What’s not to like.

      Explain what is happening any other way, if you can.

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    Obama’s Official Theme Song should be “Why Can’t We Be Friends” by War. I think it would be cool with a video too. You know, maybe an opening of the World Trade Center on fire. Cut to Obama saying Iran should have nuclear power. Richard Pearle’s funeral, Cut to Obama bowing at King Fahd’s feet. Nuclear areal bursts, cut to Kim Il Jong, then Biden saying “mark my words, in six months, this new president will be tested.” Let’s see, Oh, yeah, how about some American Soldiers charred remains, oh and dead marines being dragged through the streets of Mohgadeshu (I don’t give a damn if it’s not spelled right!).

    I’m attaching a link so you can hear it for yourself and imagine.


    Oh & this would be soo cool. As the vid fades, Reagan says” “We begin bombing in five minutes.”

    Gives me goose bumps!!!

    • Lurkin_no_mo says:

      RB, good ideas. But first our Repulican party needs to get busy and nominate a real conservative Republican to run agains the “I Won”. We can make Obummer the next Carter, providing ACORN and dem poll watchers don’t let a bunch of dead folks vote.

  7. Georgfelis says:

    I’m willing to give him the benifit of the doubt on this one. In any “Ramping up” of sanctions, the first step is to request inspections. Second step to demand inspections backed up by threats. Third step is to demand inspections backed up by force. Fourth step is to start sinking ships.

    So its a start. But I’ll be willing to bet five bucks we don’t go to the third step in the sequence. (I keep hearing “Hans Blix, Hans Blix” from Team America in the background…)

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