Those naughty Norks have apparently been up to their old tricks again, caught red-handed in an attempt to smuggle missile components into the world’s second most odious regime:
The most recent episode began after American officials tracked a North Korean cargo ship, the M/V Light, that was believed to have been involved in previous illegal shipments. Suspecting that it was carrying missile components, they dispatched a Navy vessel, the destroyer McCampbell, to track it.
“This case had an interesting wrinkle: the ship was North Korean, but it was flagged in Belize,” one American official said, meaning it was registered in that Central American nation, perhaps to throw off investigators.
But Belize is a member of the Proliferation Security Initiative, an effort begun by President George W. Bush’s administration to sign up countries around the world to interdict suspected unconventional weapons. It is an effort that, like the military and C.I.A. drone programs, Mr. Obama has adopted, and one of the rare areas where he has praised his predecessor.
According to American officials, the authorities in Belize gave permission to the United States to inspect the ship.
Which that re-flagging thing doesn’t seem so clever now, does it Mr. Kim?
Thwarted on her course by McCampbell, the M/V Light‘s master refused four times to consent to boarding, and a forced boarding was rejected out of concern that the Norks had set up a provocation. After diplomatic pressure was applied on a gathering of ASEAN representatives in Washington, the Light turned tail and limped back home.