Tillerson reference to maritime blockade gets North Korea’s attention

by WorldTribune Staff, December 8, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s mention of the right for nations to impose a maritime blockade on North Korea got a rise out of North Korea’s state-run media said on Dec. 8.

The suggestion of such a blockade is tantamount to an “act of invasion,” Pyongyang’s  Korean Central News Agency said on behalf of the Kim Jong-Un regime.

North Korea’s Rajin Port

“The U.S. moves for sea blockade can never be tolerated as they constitute a wanton violation of the sovereignty and dignity of an independent state,” the North’s official KCNA reported.

Tillerson had indicated nations had the “right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods” to and from the North after the Kim Jong-Un regime’s Nov. 29 test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that it says is capable of striking anywhere in the U.S.

Citing the London treaty on the definition of invasion and UN General Assembly Resolution 3314, KCNA claimed that blockade-type sanctions against a sovereign state in peace time would be an “an illegal act.”

“The U.S. is trying to openly take the measure of sea blockade against the DPRK and strangle its economy in peace time. This is part of its scheme to escalate political and economic blockade against the DPRK which has lasted for decades,” KCNA said.

“Now the U.S. is trumpeting about sea blockade, not content with staging largest-ever nuclear war drills against the DPRK in the sea and air after shipping the strategic assets into the Korean peninsula,” KCNA said. “This is a hideous war criminal act to push the situation to an ‘uncontrollable’ catastrophic phase and to a touch-and-go phase of a war.”

Following the North’s latest ICBM test launch, Tillerson said in a statement: “The DPRK’s relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them must be reversed. Together the international community must continue to send a unified message to North Korea that the DPRK must abandon its WMD programs. All nations must continue strong economic and diplomatic measures. In addition to implementing all existing UN sanctions, the international community must take additional measures to enhance maritime security, including the right to interdict maritime traffic transporting goods to and from the DPRK.”


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