http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/world/asia/22korea.html?_r=1&hp U.S. Destroyer Shadows North Korean Ship By CHOE SANG-HUN Published: June 21, 2009 SEOUL â A North Korean cargo ship shadowed by a United States Navy destroyer was reportedly steaming toward Myanmar on Sunday, posing what could be the first test of how far the United States and its allies will go under a new United Nations resolution to stop the Northâs military shipments. The United States began tracking the 2,000-ton freighter Kang Nam after it left Nampo, a port near Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday. Pentagon officials have said they suspect the ship of carrying prohibited materials, but have declined to say where it may be headed. North Korea has said it would consider interception an âact of warâ and act accordingly. Over the weekend, the Northâs state-run news media vowed to ârespond to sanctions with retaliation.â It also threatened âunlimited retaliatory strikesâ against South Korea if it cooperated with the United Nations Security Council sanctions. A South Korean cable news channel, YTN, quoted an unidentified intelligence source on Sunday as saying that American authorities suspected the ship of carrying missiles or related parts. The network also said the Kang Nam was headed for Myanmar, a country long suspected of buying North Korean arms and providing transit services for North Korean vessels engaged in illicit trade. The Kang Nam is the first North Korean vessel to be tracked under the resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council on June 12 to punish North Korea for its May 25 nuclear test. The resolution bans North Korean trafficking in a wide range of nuclear and conventional weaponry, and calls upon United Nations members to search North Korean ships, with their consent, if there are âreasonable groundsâ to suspect that banned cargo is aboard. If the crew does not accept inspection on high seas, North Korea is required to direct the vessel to a port for inspection by local authorities there. If the ship is heading to Myanmar, another nation defying international weapons sanctions, a port there would be unlikely to comply with the United Nations request. Shortly after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, the Kang Nam was detained in Hong Kong following a Security Council resolution banning trade in nuclear and ballistic missile technology. But then the ship was found to be carrying no cargo. The potential high-seas confrontation over the Kang Nam came as United States defense officials planned to travel to South Korea, Japan and China this week to discuss how to enforce the sanctions. Last week, Washington urged banks to become more vigilant against financial transactions involving North Korea. It also said it has deployed a floating radar base near Hawaii to guard against a long-range North Korean missile. The Northâs hostility toward the outside world was also driving the country deeper into isolation. According to a report released Sunday by South Koreaâs customs authorities, trade between the two Koreas plunged 38 percent from a year earlier to $106 million in May. It marked the ninth straight monthly decline in inter-Korean trade.