The Special Sea Attack Team (SSAT), an elite South Korean Coast Guard unit tasked with countering maritime terrorism, is preparing to respond with tougher policies to North Korean shipping in response to North Korea's missile launches and its second nuclear test in May. North Korea fired four short-range missiles into waters off the east coast Thursday, Yonhap news agency reported.
"We have not got word from above yet," said Inspector Joung Ku-so, who was suited in body armor and bristling with weapons. "But we are practicing boarding drills for PSI," he said, referring to the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative that aims to block ships from carrying weapons materials to the North.
The PSI comprises more than 90 nations that have agreed to monitor and possibly inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying illicit cargoes. Currently, a U.S. Navy destroyer is shadowing the North Korean freighter Kang Nam 1 in the South China Sea. The freighter's movements are also being monitored electronically at the South Korean Coast Guard station at Incheon.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Washington Times report: EXCLUSIVE: S. Korea mobilizes maritime squads: