Panama calls for UN to inspect DPRK ship
Last week aDPRK ship was seized by Panama as it sailed from Cuba. Cuba's Foreign Ministry has acknowledged the ship was carrying air-defense missile andRussia-made MIG aircraft. The ship Chong Chon Gang was stopped by Panama on suspicion it was transporting drugs, as it headed into the Panama Canal.
Panama has called for UN investigators to inspect a shipment of suspected weapons parts found on board, and said that they uncovered a missile-shaped object. Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli tweeted a photo, which experts identified as an ageing Soviet-built radar control system for surface-to-air missiles.
Officials said the contraband munitions were hidden under thousands of bags of sugar. All 35 members of the crew have been arrested after resisting orders and are now being questioned at Fort Sherman, a former US Army Base on the Atlantic.
Panamanian anti-drugs official told the media that no illicit substances have yet been found on board. "At the moment we haven't found any illicit substances. We have only looked at one out of five storerooms, we don't dismiss the possibility that we could find illicit substances or type of arms or war machinery," said Javier Caraballo, Panamanian official.
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