Report: U.N. Finds Cuban Arms Cargo Violates N. Korea Sanctions

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Sept. 4, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

A team of U.N. ex­perts re­portedly has con­cluded that a ship­ment of ob­sol­ete Cuban arms in­ter­dicted in Ju­ly en route to North Korea, al­legedly for re­pairs, vi­ol­ated in­ter­na­tion­al sanc­tions, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted last week.

The North Korean Chong Chon Gang cargo ship was seized by Panamani­an au­thor­it­ies as it at­temp­ted to pass through the Panama Canal. A search of the freight­er’s hold un­covered 25 con­tain­ers filled with So­viet-era sys­tems in­clud­ing mis­siles, com­mand-and-con­trol tech­no­logy, and two fight­er jets.

The weaponry “un­doubtedly vi­ol­ates U.N. sanc­tions, which sup­ports the course of ac­tion Panama took,” the Panamani­an pub­lic safety min­istry said in a re­lease, cit­ing a draft re­port by the in­vest­ig­at­ing U.N. team of sanc­tions ex­perts. The in­vest­ig­at­ors wrapped up their in­spec­tion of the cargo in Au­gust.

Cuba has said it was not ex­port­ing the arms to North Korea, merely send­ing them there for an over­haul after which they were to be re­turned to the Carib­bean na­tion. Py­ongy­ang’s pay­ment for this work ap­pears to have been a large ship­ment of ac­com­pa­ny­ing sug­ar.

Sep­ar­ately, the Ja­pan­ese De­fense Min­istry is in­ter­ested in modi­fy­ing its mil­it­ary al­li­ance agree­ment with the United States to al­low for Ja­pan to carry out ad­vance strikes on the mil­it­ary as­sets of en­emy coun­tries, Ky­odo News re­por­ted on Tues­day.

Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton “need to thor­oughly study a pos­sible at­tack on (hos­tile bases) in the event of a mis­sile launch clearly tar­get­ing Ja­pan,” De­fense Min­is­ter It­sun­ori Onodera said, in dis­cuss­ing North Korea’s nuc­le­ar and mis­sile cap­ab­il­it­ies.

Onodera and his U.S. coun­ter­part, De­fense Sec­ret­ary Chuck Hagel, last week in a meet­ing in Brunei de­cided to hold fur­ther bi­lat­er­al de­fense talks on the mat­ter.

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