Exclusive: U.S. prepares high-seas crackdown on North Korea sanctions evaders – sources

Exclusive: U.S. prepares high-seas crackdown on North Korea sanctions evaders - sourcesBy Matt Spetalnick, Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration and key Asian allies are preparing to expand interceptions of ships suspected of violating sanctions on North Korea, a plan that could include deploying U.S. Coast Guard forces to stop and search vessels in Asia-Pacific waters, senior U.S. officials said. Washington has been talking to regional partners, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore, about coordinating a stepped-up crackdown that would go further than ever before in an attempt to squeeze Pyongyang’s use of seagoing trade to feed its nuclear missile program, several officials told Reuters. While suspect ships have been intercepted before, the emerging strategy would expand the scope of such operations but stop short of imposing a naval blockade on North Korea.



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