Wed, 17 Jul 2013 04:45:00 GMT | By Reuters

Panama finds weapons on North Korean ship coming from Cuba

The ship was stopped last week as it headed into the Panama Canal and authorities arrested the crew after finding undeclared missile-shaped objects


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Panama finds weapons on North Korean ship coming from Cuba (© Reuters)

Panama City: Panama seized a North Korean cargo ship it suspects was hiding missile equipment in a shipment of brown sugar from Cuba, after a standoff in which the ship's captain tried to slit his own throat.

The ship was stopped last week as it headed into the Panama Canal and authorities arrested the crew on Monday after finding undeclared missile-shaped objects - a potential violation of U.N. sanctions linked to North Korea's nuclear program.

"We found containers which presumably contain sophisticated missile equipment. That is not allowed. The Panama canal is a canal of peace, not war," Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli told local radio on Tuesday.

Cuba said on Tuesday evening that the ship was loaded at one of its ports with 10,000 tons of sugar and 240 tons of "obsolete defensive weaponry," according to a statement by the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

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