Panama Insists U.N. Handling of Shipping Case

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 13, 2013, 8:02 a.m.

Panama will not settle the case of a North Korean cargo ship that was found car­ry­ing So­viet era weapons via a bi­lat­er­al meet­ing between the two na­tions, and in­stead will con­tin­ue to in­sist that the United Na­tions handle it, the Miami Her­ald re­por­ted.

It was an­nounced last week that a U.N. in­spec­tion team would travel to Panama to in­vest­ig­ate the Chong Chon Gang freight­er that was sail­ing through the Panama Canal en route to North Korea from Cuba when the weapons were dis­covered.

Cuban of­fi­cials have said they were send­ing aging air­craft, mis­sile-launch equip­ment and oth­er mil­it­ary gear to North Korea for main­ten­ance ser­vices and that the items were to have been re­turned to Havana later on. However, the equip­ment was hid­den among bags of sug­ar and may have vi­ol­ated a mil­it­ary ex­port em­bargo against Py­ongy­ang be­cause of its il­li­cit nuc­le­ar arms pro­gram.

A verbal mes­sage sent by North Korea’s em­bassy in Havana on Fri­day said that the cargo ship did not in­tend to threaten the se­cur­ity of the Panama Canal and ex­pressed the North’s de­sire to re­solve the case “dip­lo­mat­ic­ally” and with “ami­able co­oper­a­tion,” the news­pa­per re­por­ted, cit­ing an un­named Panamani­an gov­ern­ment source.

“As long as the case is in the hands of the (Panamani­an) Se­cur­ity Min­istry and there’s no fi­nal re­port re­port from the United Na­tions, there is no dip­lo­mat­ic solu­tion,” an an­onym­ous of­fi­cial told El Nuevo Her­ald.

The dip­lo­mat­ic note also asked that two North Korean dip­lo­mats be al­lowed in­to Panama so that they could ad­vise crew­men of the North Korean freight­er, ac­cord­ing to the Miami Her­ald.

On Tues­day, ad­di­tion­al mis­sile-launch­ing equip­ment was found in the last un­opened con­tain­er on the freight­er, the Chosun Ilbo re­por­ted. Panamani­an of­fi­cials told the Korean news ser­vice that the search of the ship had con­cluded. 

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
13 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
8 hours ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
×