Huny Badger RIGHT WING TRIBUNE–
After North Korea’s latest missile test, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on all nations to clamp down on the rogue regime and reasserted the US’s “right to interdict maritime traffic” coming in and out of the country.
- The US said it might “interdict” North Korea’s maritime traffic.
- Pyongyang called it a “big step” towards nuclear war.
- North Korea always makes grand threats, but a naval blockades have led to war in the past, and would likely require violence to enforce.
The threat riled Pyongyang, which has now threatened war if its ships are blocked.
“Should the United States and its followers try to enforce the naval blockade against our country, we will see it as an act of war and respond with merciless self-defensive counter-measures as we have warned repeatedly, North Korean media said, also saying it would be a “big step” towards nuclear war.
North Korea constantly refers to US actions as “acts” or “declarations” of war, and usually follows those claims up with threats of war.
After North Korea’s latest nuclear test in September, the US sought the UN’s consent to interdict maritime traffic coming in and out of North Korea, but it did not get accepted in the UN resolution that passed unanimously.
While North Korea’s rhetoric tends to be vitriolic, naval blockades are typically considered an act of war, as they usually require violence to enforce.
Additionally, there is historical precedent for such practices causing war in the Pacific. In 1941, a US oil embargo on Japan served as a prelude to the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor that dragged the US into World War II.
White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster warned Tuesday that shipping companies caught smuggling goods into North Korea could be making their “last delivery” anywhere.
McMaster said U.N. sanctions have not halted deliveries of essential goods like refined fuel products that North Korea wants.
The smuggling is done by ship-to-ship transfers, he said, suggesting that foreign vessels are moving the goods on the high seas to North Korean ships that take them ashore.
“We’ve seen quite a bit of that in ship-to-ship transfers of refined fuel products, for example,” McMaster said, speaking at an event in Washington hosted by the British think tank Policy Exchange.
“Any company whose ships engage in that ought to face the most severe economic consequences and sanctions.”
“A company whose ships would engage in that activity ought to be on notice that that might be the last delivery of anything they do for a long time, anywhere.”
Washington remains frustrated that international sanctions on Pyongyang have not resulted in the North halting its nuclear and long-range ballistic missile tests.
On Nov. 28 North Korea test-fired a nuclear-capable missile that showed the potential to strike anywhere on the continental United States.
The U.S. in particular has pressured China to shut down a pipeline delivering crude oil to North Korea, which it hopes would place enough economic pressure on Pyongyang to force it to halt its nuclear activities.
McMaster called on the international community to go beyond U.N. sanctions to pressure the country, saying it “might be our last best chance to avoid military conflict.”
H/T JAPAN TIMES
Huny Badger is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.
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