"The ship has to be stopped and inspected but we can't send any ships to put a shot across her bow, order it to heave-to and prepare to be boarded. If it is a bomb, the North Korean ship Captain may have orders to detonate it if confronted at sea. That would kill any ship trying to board her.
We can't send in attack aircraft to sink the ship without verifying what's in the shipping container.
A submarine could safely torpedo the ship to sink it before the crew could detonate a bomb - if it's a bomb -- but since North Korean nuclear technology is very unstable a torpedo might cause the bomb to detonate anyway. The sub would survive, but the radiation released by an accidental detonation will cause problems.
Even in the best case scenario, if it is a bomb and the ship is sunk without a bomb detonation, there's the whole issue of having a nuclear bomb at the bottom of the Sea of Japan. The environmental damage could be catastrophic, poisoning the ocean and killing sea life for thousands of square miles.
This is an unimaginable act by North Korea and is going to end badly for everyone."
� 1998 -