The U.N. Security Council on Thursday reportedly determined that a Cuban-North Korea arms deal, discovered in 2012, violated sanctions on Pyongyang.
Unidentified U.N. insiders told KBS World the 15-member U.N. body reached agreement on the weapons transgression after reading a report produced by a U.N panel with oversight on North Korean sanctions.
The Chong Chon Gang was interdicted last summer by authorities as it attempted to pass through the Panama Canal. A search of the North Korean cargo freighter’s hold turned up a large cache of Soviet-era weaponry. Cuba quickly claimed ownership of the arms, which included two MiG jets, anti-aircraft missile systems and other assorted conventional weaponry.
Havana asserted the weapons were being shipped to the North for refurbishment, after which they were to be sent back to Cuba. However, independent analysts concluded that much of the weaponry was in functioning condition and not in need of repair.
It is not yet known what, if any, punishment the Security Council could impose on Pyongyang and Havana .
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged his government would work to achieve the elimination of atomic arms in North Korea, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
“The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the basic stance of China towards the Korean Peninsula,” Xi said during a meeting with visiting South Korean lawmakers. “We will make efforts to realize it.”
China in recent days has shown renewed vigor for restarting the moribund regional talks aimed at achieving a permanent shutdown of Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons work.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a visit last week to Beijing exchanged “specific” ideas for re-launching the six-party talks that encompass China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States. Directly following Kerry’s visit, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin traveled to Pyongyang for meetings with North Korea officials. Immediately afterwards, he flew to South Korea for more meetings on the North Korea nuclear impasse.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said the Friday meeting between Liu and Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Kyung-soo produced an understanding to deepen bilateral coordination on achieving North Korean denuclearization, Yonhap separately reported.
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