July 8, 2020

U.S. Navy Wants to “Hunt” Down NK Ships for Strategic Reason

This week the administration of President Donald Trump began circulating a draft resolution at the United States Security Council that, if approved, would grant the U.S. Navy and Air Force unprecedented power over North Korea at sea.

According to The New York Times, the resolution would ban all shipments of oil, petroleum and natural gas to North Korea — and authorize U.S. military forces to enforce the ban using “all necessary measures.”

Were the resolution approved, U.S. Navy vessels would be authorized to intercept and board North Korean vessels at their discretion, which the Times noted “could set the stage for some of the tensest encounters on the high seas since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.”

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During that crisis 55 years ago, then-President John F. Kennedy ordered the U.S. Navy to establish a blockade around Cuba to prevent Soviet thugs from delivering and installing ballistic missiles on the island.

Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N., said this week she hopes to bring the resolution to a vote by next Monday.

While the virtual blockade to be proposed by the Trump administration would not classify as an act of war, it could very well lead to war.

“If the crew of a North Korean ship failed to stop or resisted a boarding party, one senior military official acknowledged in recent days, the result could be an exchange of fire at a time when Pyongyang is threatening to use its nascent nuclear arsenal, and the United States is warning of a ‘devastating response,’” the Times reported.

For the resolution to pass, all five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — including China and Russia — must approve.

As noted by Voice of America, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin has resisted the idea, even going so far as to suggest that any sort of military-related action against North Korea “could lead to a global, planetary catastrophe and a huge loss of human life.”

“There is no other way to solve the North Korean nuclear issue, save that of peaceful dialogue,” he said Tuesday.

Chinese officials have likewise also reiterated their support for peaceful negotiations.

“China doesn’t want to make North Korea a total enemy,” Joseph DeTrani, a former special envoy for Six-Party Talks with North Korea, told VoA. “They want to have some leverage. They don’t want to totally alienate the leadership in Pyongyang.”

The Trump administration has in turn warned that were its resolution blocked, the United States would immediately stopped trading with “anybody that does trade with North Korea,” as said Wednesday by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

No matter what happens, one thing is clear — the Trump administration is done playing games with North Korea and its allies.