A North Korean ship monitored for more than a week by the U.S. Navy has changed course and is heading back the way it came, U.S. officials said, as Pyongyang warned Wednesday it will take military action if anyone attempts to search its vessels.
The Kang Nam 1 — originally believed to be bound for Myanmar with suspicious cargo on board, possibly illicit weapons — turned around and headed back north on Sunday, two U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence.
The U.S. officials, speaking in Washington on Tuesday, said they do not know where the ship is going. But it was some 250 miles (400 kilometers) south of Hong Kong on Tuesday and heading north, one official said.
Initially, it looked as though President Obama was blinking in the face of confrontation. At the same time, he quietly kept the USS John McCain tailing this ship and that appears to have finally spooked Kim Jong Il who turned his own ship around.