Panamanians Seize Missile Components Headed to North Korea from Cuba
Via the NYT: Panama Seizes North Korea-Flagged Ship for Weapons
The Panamanian authorities impounded a rusting North Korean freighter on a voyage from Cuba toward the Panama Canal and back to its home country, and said the ship was carrying missile-system components cloaked in a cargo of sugar. The arms would appear to represent a significant violation of United Nations sanctions imposed on North Korea.
The confrontation appears to have been somewhat dramatic:
[President Ricardo} Martinelli and other Panamanian officials said the vessel’s 35 crew members were taken into custody after they resisted efforts to redirect the vessel to the Panamanian port of Manzanillo, at the Atlantic end of the canal, and that the captain sought to commit suicide after the ship was detained. The captain’s condition was unclear.
The crew members were detained and taken to a naval base after they disconnected crane cables aboard their ship, in what Mr. Mulino called an act of “rebellion and sabotage.”
A photo from Martinelli’s Twitter feed shows one of the items in question: click.
In an e-mailed statement, IHS Jane’s Intelligence, the defense consulting firm, said it had identified the equipment shown in the images of the seized cargo as an RSN-75 “Fan Song” fire control radar for the SA-2 family of surface-to-air missiles.