US Seeks to Interdict North Korean Shipping

US Seeks to Interdict North Korean Shipping

The possible measures include maritime interdiction to stop and inspect boats carrying goods to North Korea.

As a result, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson agreed to co-host with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland a January 16 summit on the topic in Vancouver.

But Brian Hook, director of policy for U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, said the plan is to come up with concrete ways that Washington and its allies can strengthen the "maximum-pressure campaign" on North Korea.

Analyst Mark Valencia, a researcher at China's National Institute for South China Sea Studies, warned a year ago that attempts to authorize high-seas interdictions would essentially legalize an act of war - an opposed boarding of another flag state's vessel - and potentially undermine the principle of freedom of navigation.

China and Russian Federation - despite not being invited to a conference in Canada on the North Korea crisis - must help defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

North Korea has repeatedly asserted that sanctions are killing its people while claiming that worldwide diplomatic and economic pressure will never derail its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development programs, essentially telling the world that the regime will starve its people before abandoning its weapons of mass destruction. A previous proposal submitted by the US attempted to address these concerns by restricting "non-consensual inspections" to merchant ships, and limiting the authorization to apply only "with respect to the current situation in the DPRK".

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In November, China imported no iron ore, coal or lead from North Korea, the second full month of the United Nations trade sanctions.

Some countries, even friends of the United States, may be concerned that such methods could increase military tensions or be interpreted as an act of war by the isolated North.

Hook also referred to the renewed talks between the 2 Koreas over the North's participation of next month's Winter Olympics in the South.

It is unclear whether Pyongyang has also initiated conversations with the United States.

Two of North Korea's closest neighbours have criticized Canada's effort to help coordinate the worldwide response to Kim Jong Un's weapons program.

Asked if he had spoken to Kim, Trump said "I don't want to comment on it".

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