North Korean Ship Tests the Waters Near America’s Shores

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
By Paul Martin

Claudia Rosett
Aim.org
July 14, 2014

It’s not often that North Korean-flagged freighters turn up near America’s shores, but when they do, they deserve attention. North Korea has a prolific record of arms smuggling, narcotics dealing, counterfeiting, terrorist ties and missile and nuclear proliferation. So, let’s hope U.S. authorities are keeping a close eye on a North Korean cargo ship called the Mu Du Bong, which late last month called at Cuba, then vanished from the commercial shipping grid for more than a week. This past Thursday, July 10, the Mu Du Bong reappeared at Havana, then began steaming north of Cuba, and as of this writing is cruising the Gulf of Mexico, not all that far from the Mexican port of Tampico — or for that matter, the coast of Texas.

The Mu Du Bong’s mission could be entirely legitimate. But its behavior bears some disturbing similarities to last year’s voyage of another North Korean freighter, the Chong Chon Gang, which last summer sailed into the Caribbean, picked up an illicit load of weapons in Cuba, and got caught trying to smuggle its cargo through the Panama Canal.

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