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Maritime Interdiction of North Korean Ships under UN Sanctions

Mar 31, 2020

James Kraska

Volume 46 (2019) - Issue 1

To be effective in shaping state conduct, the liberalism and idealism that informs public international law must contend with geopolitical realities and the role of power in the international system. David D. Caron was unafraid to address this dichotomy. His work bridged epistemic communities and offered concrete approaches to some of the most vexing international problems. Caron’s work on radioactive waste and nuclear weapons at sea, for example, manifests a profound understanding of the threats posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons and illicit nuclear materials in the oceans, and how international law reduces these ghastly perils. By providing boundaries for state behavior and fashioning a stability of expectations, international law deepens military and environmental security, and thereby reduces geopolitical risks. Inspired by the contributions of Caron and Harry Scheiber in exploring international law as a tool for addressing the threat of nuclear weapons and material at sea, this Article demonstrates how the legal process is the best tool available, albeit an imperfect one, to counter North Korea’s maritime proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology.