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Panama asks UN to examine N Korean ship carrying weapons

Last Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 00:07

Zee Media Bureau

Havana: Experts from United Nations will now inspect the North Korean ship carrying Cuban arms which was seized, Panama authorities reportedly said .

Two more containers carrying suspected arms were recovered from the ship, Panama`s Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino said, as per BBC news report.

Officials said if the shipment is determined to contain missile components,that could violate a UN ban on most weapons being shipped into or out of North Korea, a news agency reported.

Cuba claimed its own the arms found on board a North Korean ship that Panama impounded, saying the missile system parts were to be repaired and returned.
In a statement read on state television on Tuesday, Havana said the "obsolete" weaponry included anti-aircraft missile arrays, nine disassembled missiles and other parts, without mentioning where they were being sent.

"The agreements Cuba has signed in these areas are based on our need to maintain our defensive capacity to protect national sovereignty," the statement said.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli tweeted a photo of the suspected weapons cache, which experts have identified as an aging Soviet-built radar control system for surface-to-air missiles.

Panama said the contraband munitions were hidden under thousands of bags of sugar aboard the North Korean-flagged Chong Chon Gang.

(With AFP Inputs)

First Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 08:34
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