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 »
With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."