Monday, June 22, 2009

Burma gets weapons from North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea – A North Korean-flagged ship under close watch in Asian waters is believed to be heading toward Myanmar (Burma) carrying small arms cargo banned under a new U.N. resolution, a South Korean intelligence official said.

Still, analysts say a high seas interception — something North Korea has said it would consider an act of war — is unlikely. The Kang Nam, accused of engaging in illicit trade in the past, is the first vessel monitored under the new U.N. sanctions designed to punish the North for its defiant nuclear test last month. The U.S. military began tracking the ship after it left a North Korean port last week on suspicion it was carrying illicit weapons.

The South Korean broadcaster YTN said today that the ship was traveling in waters 200 nautical miles (230 miles) southeast of Shanghai at a speed of about 10 knots, or 10 nautical miles (11.5 miles), per hour. YTN did not say where the information came from. U.S. and Japanese military officials said they could not provide details about the whereabouts of the Kang Nam or a U.S. destroyer shadowing the vessel. More>>

PHOTOS: 1. South Korean protesters hold a rally against North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his youngest son believed to be designated as the leader's successor, in Seoul on 6/15/09. North and South Korea failed to reach agreement in talks Friday on the fate of a joint industrial estate which is their last remaining reconciliation project, officials said (AFP/File/Kim Jae-Hwan). 2. South Korean tourist walks past posting of North Korea's map and a flag at an observation post in Ganghwa, located inside of the civilian passage restriction line that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, South Korea, 6/21/09. North Korea has criticized the U.S. for reaffirming its nuclear protection of South Korea in their recent summit, saying it exposed a U.S. plot to launch atomic war (AP/Ahn Young-joon).

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