Findings: Cuban Weapons Were for North Korea's Illegal Use

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
See all of the findings and pictures here.

From The Telegraph:

Fighter jets and parts seized from a North Korean ship by Panamanian authorities were probably intended for use by the communist state, in an apparent violation of United Nations sanctions, an arms control institute has said.

The findings by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute contradict Cuba's claim that it was not breaking the sanctions as it was sending equipment to North Korea for repairs and expected it to be returned, including MiG aircraft and motors, missiles and anti-aircraft missile systems.

UN sanctions forbid North Korea from trading arms to deprive it of technology and revenue for its pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. If the Cuban equipment was intended for North Korean use, it would suggest Pyongyang is struggling to maintain its ageing conventional forces.

The ship, Chong Chon Gang, was intercepted on July 15 in the Panama Canal, with 25 containers of Cuban military equipment found beneath the 10,000 tons of sugar. The equipment was not listed on the ship's manifest.

Experts at the Stockholm institute say they have seen a report and photographs compiled by Panamanian authorities and the United Nations Organisation on Drugs and Crime on what was found in the containers.

The institute's experts said there was other cargo not mentioned by Cuban officials in public statements, including items of ammunition for rocket-propelled grenades and conventional artillery, much of it in mint condition and in the original packing cases. "They clearly were not 'to be repaired and returned to Cuba'," the institute says in an analysis.