The interception of an apparent N Korean missile shipment in
the Arabian Sea threw yet another troublesome element into the delicate military
and diplomatic drive against terrorism. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
said he had no information about where the ship was headed, but that "there
are places where the missiles could have been headed that were clearly
illegal.'' (US DoD file photo)...
North Korea is shipping SCUD missiles to the Middle East
but Bush still believes that Iraq is the bigger threat to WorldPeace. You
see North Korea does not have that most important element of a terrorist nation:
Bush tries to convince the whole world that Saddam is the biggest threat to
the United States with his weapons of mass destruction. And yet North
Korea who admits to having nuclear weapons of mass destruction and who is
shipping missiles that can carry nuclear warheads almost a thousand miles are
not a threat to the United States.
The reason that North Korea is not a threat to the United States even though
they have the nuclear capabilities is because they do not have any oil. You
see, you must also have oil along with your weapons of mass destruction in order
to be a real threat to the United States.
December 11, 2002
Wed, 11 Dec 2002
Seizure Spotlights N.Korea Concerns
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — The interception of an apparent North Korean missile
shipment in the Arabian Sea threw yet another troublesome element into the
delicate military and diplomatic drive against terrorism and the spread of
The Spanish military stopped the ship, sailing without a flag designating
its country of origin but with what appeared to be a North Korean crew,
during interdiction operations Tuesday off the coast of Yemen as part of
the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
U.S. authorities who had been monitoring the ship quickly boarded the ship
after it was halted about 600 miles off the Horn of Africa.
The ship contained about a dozen short- to medium-range missiles, similar
to the Scud missiles used by Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, as well as
missile parts, U.S. officials said.
The missiles, the officials said, were at least initially headed for
Yemen, a nominal ally in the global war on terrorism despite strained
relations at best with Washington. Yemen is Osama bin Laden's ancestral
homeland, was the site of the bombing of a U.S. warship and has vast
lawless areas where al-Qaida members and other terrorists are believed to
North Korea shocked U.S. officials by admitting in October that it had a
secret program to enrich uranium to make nuclear weapons. The Bush
administration has vowed to try to solve the problem through diplomacy,
though Bush already had named North Korea as part of a three-nation ``axis
of evil'' and administration officials have worried that the reclusive
Communist dictatorship has become a ``missiles-R-us'' seller to countries
such as Iran and Libya.
The Bush administration met the discovery with a measured reaction,
declining to characterize either how much concern it raised among U.S.
officials or the range of options for a response. A White House spokesman
for national security issues said the United States would enlist the help
of U.S. allies in the region to fashion its next move — a decidedly
diplomatic, and possibly slow, approach.
``This is an issue of concern,'' said spokesman Sean McCormack. ``We are
working with other governments to figure out the next step.''
McCormack said the immediate tasks were to deal with the crew and to
secure the ship.
Speaking in Djibouti early Wednesday, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
said he had no information about where the ship was headed, but that
``there are places where the missiles could have been headed that were
``North Korea doesn't like to hear me say it, but they continue to be the
single largest proliferator of ballistic missile technology on the face of
the earth,'' said Rumsfeld.
The ship carrying the missiles was stopped by two vessels from the Spanish
navy participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led global
anti-terrorism coalition, said Alberto Martinez Arias, a spokesman for
Spain's Defense Ministry in Madrid.
Crews from the Spanish ships Navarra and Patino stopped the unflagged ship
Sosan east of the island of Socotora and called U.S. authorities for
assistance, Martinez said. The Spanish navy stopped and boarded the ship
after its crew refused to identify themselves.
The North Korean captain of the Sosan initially told Spanish officials the
ship was carrying cement. The missiles were discovered shortly thereafter,
The ship was being held in the area while the search continued and as U.S.
experts made sure any explosive materials were neutralized, U.S. officials
said. It was not clear where the ship was registered, a senior
administration official said.
Without providing specifics, the senior administration official said the
United States had evidence beyond the identity of the crew to identify the
missiles as originating in North Korea.
Officials said the shipment did not appear to be headed for Iraq. However,
the senior administration official, offering details on condition of
anonymity, said that although the ship was bound for Yemen, it was unclear
whether it — and the missiles on board — had another destination
Yemen's port of Aden was the site of the October 2000 terrorist attack on
the USS Cole that killed 17 sailors.
Yemeni officials contacted late Tuesday said they had no information
concerning the ship, its contents or its boarding by international forces.
The boarding occurred as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was
traveling in the area. He made stops in Eritrea and Ethiopia on Tuesday
and was to visit U.S. troops in the Gulf of Aden port of Djibouti on
It was unclear precisely what missiles were aboard the seized vessel.
North Korea has built and exported at least two missiles in the Scud
class: the Scud B and the Scud D, or No Dong.
Scud B missiles were produced in large numbers by the former Soviet Union
and ended up in Iraq and North Korea, among other nations. The missiles
are very inaccurate, often break up in flight and have a range of less
than 200 miles.
The No Dong missile produced by North Korea is advanced compared with the
Scud B. It has a range of up to 930 miles and can carry a conventional,
chemical or nuclear warhead. Iran and Pakistan have modified versions of
the No Dong, and Pakistan's are fitted to carry nuclear warheads.
U.S. officials have said North Korea has sold missile technology to Middle
Eastern and North African countries, including Iran, Syria, Egypt and
Libya. All but Egypt, a U.S. ally, are on the American list of countries
that sponsor terrorism.
Shipments by sea to any of those countries could pass through the Gulf of
How can we manifest peace on
earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both
sexes) in our vision of Peace?
The WorldPeace Banner
The WorldPeace Sign
To the John WorldPeace Galleries Page
To the WorldPeace Peace Page