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I agree with the comments but I am a little apprehensive when it comes to dealing with a madman with suicidal tendencies…. He did launch this test missiles after a stern warning from their strongest ally, China. I still think we have 28,500 reasons to proceed with caution.
"Kim Jong Il has declared that boarding the ship would be considered an act of war"
Kim had a massive stroke some time ago and underground reports from NK are that he remains paralyzed and illucid.
A week or two ago it was revealed that he previously declared his successor to be his youngest son (apparently in a living will) and there was significant internal turmoil over the announcement.
Point being, Kim didn't say anything, somebody else did and put his name on it. There is potential for a violent power struggle amongst the three brothers. The country is starving and the infrastructure has crumbled. As such, there is virtually no potential retribution they can dole out.
I agree with Hicktoria (weird, eh?) on this one. North Korea seems to have a penchant for declaring anything, at any given moment, an "act of war." Like the boy crying wolf, eventually nobody will take it seriously. I say send a VBSS team aboard to verify whether or not any contraband is present, and report back to the UN Security Council post haste. While North Korea may consider it an offense, I doubt any of the UN countries will feel any differently about them shipping weapons to Myanmar.
Considering Japan's viewpoint on this issue, I would definitely call this man's bluff. Why deal with consequences if we do not have to? I really do not think North Korea would want a war with us. That would be like them falling on the sword. IMO I think we should board the vessel just for a little CYA and show them we will uphold what the UN has mandated.