Naval destroyer following N. Korean ship

SEOUL, June 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy destroyer Sunday awaited orders on whether to intercept a North Korean cargo ship reportedly headed to Myanmar, sources said.

The destroyer USS John McCain began tracking the Kang Nam Wednesday in the first test of a new United Nations resolution that calls upon countries to intercept North Korean ships suspected of carrying weapons, The New York Times reported Sunday.


Stopping short of saying the ship was carrying weapons, a U.S. official only said it was "a subject of interest," the Times said.

North Korea has said it would consider interception an act of war.

U.S. authorities suspect the Kang Nam is carrying missile parts to Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, which has been suspected of buying weapons from North Korea, the Times reported.

The June 12 U.N. Security Council resolution calls for North Korean ships to be searched with consent. The resolution says if the crew rejects a search, North Korea must direct the ship to a port for inspection by local authorities. It is unlikely Myanmar would cooperate with such an inspection, the Times reported.

The wording of the U.N. resolution was weakened by China and Russia, leaving doubts as to its effectiveness, the Times said.


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