This week, the USS John McCain is engaged in military exercises in the South China Sea - setting a new threshold in US-Vietnam ties.
Was this a triumph of international pressure? Or will the Kang Nam sail with another shipment soon?
Tracking North Korea's Kang Nam is not an extraordinary duty for American warships.
The aging craft, heading toward the Strait of Malacca, is an unlikely player in what is fast becoming an international drama.
The US is tracking the cargo carrier as it moves through the Pacific, but the interdiction called for by the UN will prove tricky.
The missile launch is believed to be a military test, though Pyongyang insists it is launching a satellite.