Sunday, November 19, 2006

Some Tidbits about...

the Proliferation Security Initiative from Global

The source document is very long. A few paragraphs here to chew on:

"PSI participants are committed to the following interdiction principles to establish a more coordinated and effective basis through which to impede and stop shipments of WMD, delivery systems, and related materials flowing to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern,..."

"1) Undertake effective measures, either alone or in concert with other states, for interdicting the transfer or transport of WMD,..." (Many sentences follow.)

"2) Adopt streamlined procedures for rapid exchange of relevant information concerning suspected proliferation activity, protecting the confidential character of classified information provided by other states as part of this initiative,..." (A confidential tip line.)

(skipping number 3.)

"4) Take specific actions in support of interdiction efforts regarding cargoes of WMD, their delivery systems, or related materials, ..."

"a) Not to transport or assist in the transport of any such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors..."

"b) At their own initiative, or at the request and good cause shown by another state, to take action to board and search any vessel flying their flag in their internal waters or territorial seas, or areas beyond the territorial seas of any other state, that is reasonably suspected of transporting such cargoes to or from states or non-state actors of proliferation concerns, and to seize such cargoes that are identified. " (This paragraph is one of the loaded weapons. "Board and search any vessel...reasonably suspected...")

"c) To seriously consider providing consent under the appropriate circumstances to the boarding and searching of its own flag vessels by other states, and to the seizure of such WMD-related cargoes in such vessels that may be identified by such states. (A second loaded gun.)

Several more paragraphs continue in the search and seize, stop and search, impound and seize modalities. And finally, a couple of test cases.

"In June 2003, Japan changed its policy in regard to the ferries operating from North Korea. Nearly 2,000 inspectors went to the port of Niigata to check for customs and immigration violations, infectious diseases, and safety violations on the North Korean vessel Man Gyong Bong-92. North Korea responded by immediately ceasing all ferries traveling between the two countries and cancelled a port visit by an unnamed vessel believed to be involved in espionage. The Japanese policy appears to be part of a large US strategy to involve regional actors in policing North Korean exports.
The Japanese Transport Minister, Chikage Ogi, stated that Japan intends to inspect all North Korean vessels at ports in Japan. On June 11 the 298 ton freighter Namsan 3 was detained at Maizuru and at the Otaru port in Hokkaido the 178-ton Daehungrason-2, carrying crabs, was also detained.
This shift in policy comes as the United States has withdrawn several dozen fighters and bombers from South Korea and Guam, including F-117s, B-52s, B-1Bs and F-15Es, indicating that the administration opted to not pursue air strikes."

Not to pursue airstrikes on Korea. Not to not pursue aristrikes in other places. And this.

"On August 08, 2003 the North Korean cargo vessel Be Gaehung was detained at Kaohsiung Harbor in Taiwan after US intelligence notified the Taiwanese government that the vessel was suspected of carrying chemicals associated with rocket fuel, according to the Christian Science Monitor on August 12, 2003. The ship was boarded and inspected and the captain was asked to unload the chemicals on Sunday August 10. The vessel began unloading some 158 barrels of phosphorus pentasulfide which were then confiscated by government officials. "

The article this information comes from has not been updated since April 2005. I know that Japan has in the last few months stopped all shipping coming from North Korea. The date of the speech announcing the PSI was May 31, 2003. Sadaam would not be pulled from his hole for another six and one-half months.

From the Arms Control Association website, the countries participating:

"Participants: Ten countries originally joined with the United States to shape and promote the initiative. These countries are Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Canada, Norway, Russia, and Singapore have since joined the effort and some 40 additional states have voiced support for the initiative. PSI participants have downplayed the concept of membership in the initiative, explaining in a press statement that PSI is "an activity not an organization." (Mum's the word. And "an activity, not an organization"...heh.)

"Legal Authority: The initiative does not empower countries to do anything that they previously could not do. Most importantly, PSI does not grant governments any new legal authority to conduct interdictions in international waters or airspace. (snip) PSI participants are working to expand their legal authority to interdict shipments by signing bilateral boarding agreements with select countries to secure expedited processes or pre-approval for stopping and searching their ships at sea. The United States has concluded such agreements with Belize, Croatia, Cyprus, Liberia, the Marshall Islands, and Panama. Liberia and Panama possess the largest fleets of registered ocean-going vessels in the world".

What were these countries offered that they could not refuse? And I like this-

" Then-Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, (was) a chief architect of PSI...". Take that Senator Voinovich.

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