Panama Insists U.N. Handling of Shipping Case

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
Congressional Budget Office Scores House Trumpcare Bill
44 minutes ago

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its score of the House-passed American Health Care Act, which would replace Obamacare. According to the CBO, the bill would reduce the deficit by $119 billion by 2026, while leaving 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 than under current law, a number swelling to 23 million by 2026. Further, insurance premiums would balloon 20 percent in 2018 and five percent in 2019 before the waiver provision in the legislation would kick in. The provision allows states to apply for waivers and permit insurers to offer skimpier plans, which would likely entice younger and healthier individuals to buy health insurance while potentially pricing older and less healthy Americans out of insurance plans. House Republicans approved this bill in late April without waiting for the CBO score.

Mnuchin Looks To Avoid Debt Ceiling Fight
2 hours ago
Graham Rejects Trump’s Budget In Hearing
2 hours ago

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that President Donald Trump's budget is literal more than recycling bin material. "The budget proposed by the president doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of passing," Graham said. Graham had previously opposed the budget over its nearly 30 percent cut to the budget of the State Department. The budget slashes spending on domestic priorities while increasing military spending.

McConnell Not Sure How To Get 50 Votes For Health Care
2 hours ago

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he doesn't yet know the formula towards gaining passage of an Obamacare replacement in the Senate. "I don't know how we get to 50 (votes) at the moment. But that's the goal," McConnell said. The House passed an Obamacare replacement bill which has been widely seen as dead on arrival in the Senate, and McConnell has put together a working group of Republican Senators working towards creating health care legislation which could gain the support of at least 50 Senators.

Transcript Of Trump, Duterte Phone Call Leaks
7 hours ago

The transcript of a phone call between Donald Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was leaked and it shows Trump referring to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as a "madman with nuclear weapons" and praising Duterte, saying he was doing an "unbelievable job on the drug problem." For context, Duterte has presided over a vicious and genocidal campaign of extrajudicial killings within his country which has led to the murder of thousands of expected drug dealers and users. Trump also told Duerte to take care of himself and promised that the U.S. would "take care of North Korea."


Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.