US Navy 'stopped North Korean vessel bound for Burma'
- 13 June 2011
- From the section Asia-Pacific
A US warship intercepted and halted a North Korean vessel that was bound for Burma and was suspected of carrying missile technology, US media report.
The USS McCampbell caught up with the cargo vessel on 26 May, the New York Times quoted US officials as saying.
The destroyer approached the M/V Light and asked to board, but the North Koreans refused. The ship turned round and returned home a few days later.
Associated Press said the White House confirmed the substance of the story.
The M/V Light was intercepted south of Shanghai.
The Americans attempted to board on four occasions, according to the New York Times, but the navy did not force its way on to the cargo ship after permission was refused.
A few days later the M/V Light stopped and then turned back to its home port, tracked by US surveillance planes and satellites.
The New York Times said there had been several days of pressure from the US and some Asian nations.
Gary Samore, special assistant to President Barack Obama on weapons of mass destruction, told South Korean media that the ship may have been bound for Burma carrying small arms or missile-related items.
North Korea is subject to United Nations sanctions designed to curb its missile and nuclear programmes.
The United Nations Security Council imposed resolution 1874 in June 2009 following a nuclear test by North Korea, authorising member states to intercept the country's arms shipments.