Suspicious N. Korean Ship to Dock in Burma Soon
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Suspicious N. Korean Ship to Dock in Burma Soon

By MIN LWIN Monday, June 22, 2009


A 2,000-ton North Korean cargo ship will dock at Thilawa port, 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Rangoon, in the next few days, an official at Thilawa port authority told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

The Kang Nam 1 left a North Korean port on Wednesday and passed along the coast of China. A US Navy destroyer has tracked the ship since its departure.

The Kang Nam I cargo ship docks at Rangoon in 2007. A North Korean ship is suspected of ferrying banned weapons cargo in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The US military has beefed up defenses in Hawaii over fears that North Korea could launch a missile toward the Pacific island chain. (Photo: AFP)
The same ship docked at the port in 2004, at that time raising suspicions about the nature of its cargo. Speculation centered on convention arms, missiles or some type of nuclear weaponry.

“Normally, North Korea cargo ships dock in Thilawa port,” the port official told The Irrawaddy.

The Burmese military government permitted a North Korean cargo ship, the Kang Nam 1, to dock in 2007 near Thilawa port because it reportedly was in distress and taking shelter from a storm. The docking raised suspicions about its cargo.

The government said that it allowed the Kang Nam to dock for humanitarian reasons. The true purpose of its visit might have had something to do with Burma’s goal of being a nuclear power by 2025, according to some military analysts.

In the past, there have been rumors circulating inside and outside Burma that North Korean nuclear technology specialists were in Burma, offering the junta nuclear and biological technology.

Map showing locations relevant to the North Korean vessel Kang Nam I, which left the port of Nampo last week and is reportedly heading to Burma with a suspected consignment of missile parts, according to South Korean media. (Graphic: AFP)
Military analysts say the North Korean Communist regime has provided Burma with weapons, military technology transfers and expertise in underground tunneling used for concealing military installations.

North Korea sold rocket launchers to Burma in 2008, in a deal that was brokered by an unnamed Singapore trading country in violation of the UN sanctions imposed against North Korea after it conducted nuclear tests in 2006.

Burmese-North Korean military ties were reestablished in 1999 when members of the Burmese junta paid a low-profile visit to the rogue state. The junta sent a delegation to North Korea secretly again in November 2000 for a meeting with high-ranking officials of North Korea’s People’s Armed Forces. A North Korean delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Park Kil-yon met with his counterpart, Khin Maung Win, in June 2001.

Burma and North Korea, two of Asia's most authoritarian countries, officially restored diplomatic ties in 2007, ending a diplomatic crisis after a bombing carried out by North Korean spies in 1983, part of an assassination attempt on South Korea's then-president, Chun Doo-hwan, during a visit to Rangoon.

North Korea has consistently angered its Asian neighbors and other countries with threats of missile launches, threats against South Korea and its on-gain, off-again  nuclear program, prompting US and South Korean forces to raise their military alert status recently.

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maungnaylin Wrote:
In my opinion, North Korea should not deliver weapons Myanmar has ordered.

North Korea is showing the U.S. that Myanmar is friend of North Korea, and Myanmar is showing the West that North Korea is a friend of Myanmar. Both countries are playing their friendship card to show Western countries that they are united against Western countries, especially the US, as their common enemy.

In my opinion, Myanmar should delay their orders of the weapons from North Korea because of the difficulties North Korea is having with Washington.

Moe Aung Wrote:
The only reason the junta wants to get its grubby hands on a few nukes has to be to defy the world and carry on with their enslavement, exploitation and repression of their own people as they see fit, undisturbed.

They wouldn't think twice about taking as many as they can with them in the event of a nuclear conflagration. The world may never hear of Burmese suicide bombers, but Burmese bloodymindedness in adversity has to be witnessed to be believed. Beware.

planB Wrote:
john eichler
"This ship must be boarded and inspected according to the recent UN mandate. North Korea must be stopped from exporting weapons, especially to a pariah state like Burma."
SY Alam
"I think America needs to stop this ship before she reaches Burma."

To both of you:

Will you care to elaborate on the points?
What will you hope to accomplish with this advocacy?
Will this help clear anything, such as the ongoing DASSK trial?
Will this bring down the SPDC at this point or the foreseeable future?
Has this advocacy of yours any redemption to bringing any immediate or future relief of suffering to the citizenry of Burma?
Are you just armchair critics?
If your advocacy is realized do you know what the consequences will entail?
Think well before you advocate.
It is so hard as it is to help the suffering individually.
Do not start anything irresponsibly to make things even harder.

Ed Wrote:
Please keep in mind that the US or any other country can not just board this ship. The UN resolution simply says the country can ask permission to board. Once again, a resolution that has absolutely no teeth whatsoever. I'm not certain why anyone would think Mr Obama would act in this case. There was no response to the launching of a weapon weeks ago, despite a warning there would be a response.

nono Wrote:
Hey CB, those people are not waiting, they have started already. But only a few of them, or will they have more friends?

Oparlay Wrote:
If the weapons are bought with the earnings from Daewoo gas project, who is responsible for it? What would you say, Mr Ban Ki Moon and the South Korea?

"Daewoo Forecasts US $10 billion Profit in Gas Deal with China"

How much would Burma make out of that deal? Probably enough to buy several shiploads of cargoes from N. Korea.

CB Wrote:
Burma is not just preparing weapons to clear ethnic armed groups but also to confront the world. They have a lot of military equipment at the moment to confront the world. The SPDC will never release Aung San Suu Kyi. They will detain her until her life ends. If the world can not solve her problem soon, it will be a third world war at the end. The SPDC makes relationship ties with communist countries that use military power to oppress civilians. They make friends with North Korea, Sri Lanka, China, Russia, India. All the countries are waiting for the third world war.

SY Alam Wrote:
I think America needs to stop this ship before she reaches Burma.

khai Wrote:
They don't need nuclear weapons to kill us; a single shot gunwould do. What are they going to do with those? Shame on the Burmese junta and Kim Jong Il, the rotten apples of Asia.

john eichler Wrote:
This ship must be boarded and inspected according to the recent UN mandate. North Korea must be stopped from exporting weapons, especially to a pariah state like Burma.

planB Wrote:
Trying very hard to equate N Korea with the SPDC through innuendoes is shameful.
Or are you suggesting that the present policy of the West will eventually make a N Korea-like "Myanmar?"
In this report, is there any redemption for the continued suffering of the citizenry?
What is this report's aim other than tight cooperation between the two regimes? Secondarily, the result of past policy by the West.

Maung Maung Wrote:
In the very near future, Burma will develop a Nuke. And its neighbors and the UN will use the words "deeply concerned" again.

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