WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The U.S. Navy has ordered an Aegis destroyer to go to China to intercept and possibly inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying parts and components that could be used in missiles or nuclear devices, U.S. media reported Friday.
Fox television said the USS John S. McCain, a destroyer forward-deployed to Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, is on its way to engage a North Korean ship named the Kang Nam.
Although the navy has not yet issued an order to intercept the Kang Nam, it might try to inspect it after it leaves China, the U.S. media reports said.
The U.S. has not yet “demanded a request for an inspection (to the North Korean side) and is not sure if we would make one,” a U.S. military source was quoted as saying.
The navy has been monitoring the Kang Nam under new U.N. sanctions that bar Pyongyang from exporting items related to missiles or nuclear technology.
Since the United States cannot conduct an inspection on the high seas without North Korea’s consent, the navy might considering monitoring the ship until it stops to refuel and ask a local government to conduct the inspection.
The Kang Nam left North Korea on Wednesday and is heading toward Singapore.
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