Sanctions, Rhetoric, and Possible Boarding of Vessels vs. North Korea

Monday, February 26, 2018
By Paul Martin

Jeremiah Johnson
February 26th, 2018
SHTFplan.com

On Friday, 2/23/18, the Trump Administration announced the implementation of even stronger sanctions against North Korea to force it into compliance regarding its nuclear weapons. The New York Times reported on the revised sanctions, and here’s an excerpt:

The measures target 27 shipping companies and 28 vessels, registered in North Korea and six other countries, including China. The Treasury Department said the shipping firms are part of a sophisticated campaign to help North Korea evade United Nations sanctions restricting imports of refined fuel and exports of coal.

President Trump later released the following statement to reporters during a joint news conference with the Prime Minister of Australia as reported by Reuters on Friday, 2/23/18:

“If the sanctions don’t work, we will have to go to phase two, and phase two may be a very rough thing, may be very, very unfortunate for the world.”

That doesn’t sound very positive… “very, very unfortunate for the world” seems to imply something big. Sounds as if it may mean war, and not to one limited between the U.S. and North Korea.

Two of the stated overall U.S. objectives regarding interception of ships by U.S. naval forces is to halt North Korea’s importation of fuel and their exportation of coal. Here’s a statement from a Newsweek article on Friday, 2/23 entitled John Bolton Blasts Trump’s New North Korea Sanctions as Worthless, that describes the planned actions:

“The measures target 27 shipping companies and 28 vessels, registered in North Korea and six other countries, including China,” The New York Times reported on Friday. “The Treasury Department said the shipping firms are part of a sophisticated campaign to help North Korea evade United Nations sanctions restricting imports of refined fuel and exports of coal.”

Well, before that “Phase 2” occurs, it may just need a tipping point…and that venue may have been found with the other proposition: that U.S. Coast Guard vessels may be used to search, and board ships suspected of carrying out trade with North Korea outside of the embargo. They will also search the vessels for any weapons or parts for weapons systems.

Yes, you read that correctly, the U.S. Coast Guard! As if they don’t have enough to deal with in U.S. waters with drug smuggling and illegal aliens, let alone to patrol our waters and protect from foreign naval vessels. Now they’re going to be pressed into service to police vessels in Asia. Here’s another excerpt as reported through Reuters and reprinted in Newsweek from Friday, 2/23 entitled North Korea Sanctions Evaders Beware: U.S. Planning Major High Seas Crackdown, that is “telling” if you study it clearly:

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told reporters in Washington on Friday the United States does not rule out boarding ships for inspections. But U.S. officials said privately that such action, especially the use of boarding crews, would be decided on a case-by-case and with utmost caution. Some U.S. officials believe the risk could be minimized if Coast Guard cutters, which carry less firepower and technically engage in law-enforcement missions, are used in certain cases rather than warships.

The Coast Guard declined to address whether it might deploy ships to the Asia-Pacific region but acknowledged its ties to countries there. “Future ship deployments would depend on U.S. foreign policy objectives and the operational availability of our assets,” said spokesman Lieutenant Commander Dave French.

The Rest…HERE

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