Panama intercepts N. Korea ship with suspected arms

Panama on Monday stopped a North Korean vessel that President Ricardo Martinelli said had sailed from Cuba and tried to illegally sneak suspected sophisticated missile material through the Panama Canal.

By FRANCE 24  (text)

Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli on Monday said authorities there had seized a North Korean-flagged ship travelling from Cuba with suspected sophisticated missile material.

“The world needs to sit up and take note: you cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal,” Martinelli told Radio Panama.

“We had suspected this ship, which was coming from Cuba and headed to North Korea, might have drugs aboard, so it was brought into port for search and inspection,” he said, describing a dramatic scene in which the ship’s captain tried to kill himself.

“The captain  tried to commit suicide, and the crew also rioted,” when police moved in, Martinelli said. “So we are holding this vessel for further investigation.”

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