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UN team to inspect N. Korean ship impounded in Panama

09 august 2013, 11:00
0
©REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
©REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
A team of UN experts will head to Panama next week to inspect a North Korean ship impounded last month after the discovery of Cuban missile parts in its cargo, AFP reports.

Luxembourg's UN ambassador Sylvie Lucas announced the move on Wednesday.

"The panel will go next week to Panama to assist in the investigation, then will present a report to the committee," said Lucas, chairman of the UN sanctions committee.

The experts will report back to the committee which will then determine whether Pyongyang is in violation of any sanctions. Lucas declined to speculate on what regulations may or may not have been broken.

"We don't yet have a report or a conclusion if this is a violation or not," she said. "Let's not put the cart in front of the horses."

The United States and other countries have stated that the discovery of non-declared Cuban weapons in the North Korean vessel represents a clear violation of a UN sanctions regime put in place against the reclusive state because of its nuclear program.

Cuba insisted that missiles found within a sugar consignment aboard the Chong Chon Gang freighter were obsolete arms due to be repaired and returned by North Korea.

Panamanian authorities boarded the vessel because of suspicions it may have been carrying drugs.

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