Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Just saw this in the "Oddities" section of the CBC news site (bear in mind I'm giving you a highly-edited version!):

Landlocked Mongolia becomes new maritime ally for United States

WASHINGTON - Somebody should have looked at a map.

The State Department with great fanfare on Tuesday signed an agreement with landlocked Mongolia that will allow Mongolian ships to be boarded and searched if they are suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction.

This despite the fact that Mongolia, a vast land that's home to the Gobi Desert, windswept steppes and largely populated by nomadic yak herders, has no navy at all and lies thousands of kilometres from open waters.

Still, its tiny merchant marine is recognized as one of 32 "flag of convenience" countries by international maritime authorities. (So the State Dept. is concerned about North Korean ships using such a flag - my note)

Asked what Washington hoped to achieve with the agreement, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said "I'll have to check..."

If you want the whole story, go here.

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