Cuba Blatantly Lied About Weapons to North Korea

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Good synopsis from The Wall Street Journal:

So what exactly was in the cargo hold of that North Korean vessel intercepted in the Panama Canal last month.

The North Korean-flagged Chong Chon Gang was sailing from Cuba, whose foreign ministry said at the time that it carried 10,000 tons of sugar and 240 metric tons of “obsolete defensive weapons,” including disassembled missiles, two MiG-21 Bis jet fighters and two disassembled antiaircraft missile complexes, “to be repaired and returned to Cuba.”

Here’s what was actually in the cargo hold, according to a new report by a Swedish arms-control institute:

* small arms and light-weapons ammunition

* night-vision equipment

* rocket-propelled grenades

* artillery ammunition for anti-tank guns

And here’s what it was likely for, according to the report: bolstering North Korea’s military capabilities—not for repairing and returning to Cuba.

The report, authored by Hugh Griffiths, a senior researcher and expert on arms trafficking with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, will likely confirm the suspicions of many North Korea watchers, who greeted Cuba’s initial explanation with skepticism.

Mr. Griffiths, in fact, concludes that the shipment was “without a doubt a violation of United Nations sanctions on North Korea,” since it includes conventional artillery ammunition buried beneath the sugar.