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Thread: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Kim Jong un purges North Koreas army chief
    Kim Jong-un purges North Korea's army chief - Telegraph

    By Julian Ryall, Tokyo
    9:35AM BST 30 Aug 2013

    Kim Jong-un is apparently keeping up his purge of undesirable elements within the upper echelons of North Korean society with the reported sacking of his hawkish army chief.

    Kim Kyok-sik, who is believed to have been behind the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan and the bombardment of Yeonpyeong Island in late 2010, has disappeared from the list of senior regime officials attending public events in recent weeks.

    "We are closely watching developments in the North, believing that Kim Kyok-sik has been replaced by Ri Yong-gil, the chief of operations for the Army General Staff," a source in the South Korean government told the Chosun Ilbo newspaper.

    North Korean media have also pictured Ri with new four-star insignia.

    Analysts believe that Kim Kyok-sik has been replaced as Kim Jong-un attempts to stamp his own influence on the military and replace those who were loyal to his father's regime with his own hand-picked acolytes.
    North Korea's Army Chief, General Kim Kyok-sik, was remove from his post and disappeared from sight. The General led the North Korean delegation to Havana early in July, where the illegal weapons smuggling deal was arranged and met with Raul Castro,

    It is evident that the Castroit regime and the North Korea dictatorship decided to take out of circulation the two inconvenient generals involve in the North Korean ship weapons smuggling.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandokan View Post
    Fidel Castro in a video against the nuclear war on October 15, 2010, said: Let us have the courage to proclaim that all nuclear or conventional weapons, everything that is used to make war, must disappear.”

    The Castroit tyrannical regime is trading brown sugar weapons of destruction with the North Korean government, a state sponsor of terrorism. This is a perfect match and a very dangerous alliance for the rest of the world.

    Yet progressives deny there is a hostile communist socialist co-op between nations that are hellbent on the destruction or capitalism and imperialism as we know it... They portray such agreements as harmless....

    Their intent is bold, but continues to be played by the communist sympathizers benevolent...

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    The Castro Tyranny’s Proliferation Activities and Cooperation with Rogue Regimes Like North Korea Pose a Direct Threat to Our National Security Interests, Says Ros-Lehtinen
    The Castro Tyranny

    “The U.S. Administration must take concrete steps to hold the Castro regime accountable, such as denying visas to Castro family members and regime officials, and not allowing people to people travelers to stay at luxury resorts that are owned by the Cuban military”

    (WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement at a Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing on the latest incident in Cuba’s history of proliferation. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

    This weapons proliferation violation in our own Hemisphere poses a direct threat to our national security interests. Allowing the Castros to go unaccountable sends a terrible message to allies like Panama, who risked their time and resources to stop this vessel, and also to Venezuela and other rogue regimes who would seek to further cooperate with North Korea or Iran.
    Of course, they have been and they are a threat to the U.S. They keep lying and getting away with murder.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Chairman Salmon's Statement on Cuban Weapons Proliferation
    Capitol Hill Cubans: Chairman Salmon's Statement on Cuban Weapons Proliferation

    at12:02 AMFriday, September 27, 2013

    Opening Statement of Chairman Matt Salmon (R-AZ) at today's Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing, "A Closer Look at Cuba and its Recent History of Proliferation":

    Earlier this summer, on July 16th, the Panamanian government discovered and detained the North Korean flagged Chong Chon Gang cargo vessel traveling from Cuba. Found on board were 25 cargo containers of Cuban weapons and other U.N.-sanctioned items bound for the rogue regime in North Korea. In anticipation of the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Committee’s impending report on the incident, I’ve convened our Subcommittee today to investigate further Cuba’s recent history of military proliferation and non-compliance with U.N. sanctions, and to review the options available to the Subcommittee to attempt to hold Cuba accountable for their violations.

    The facts in this case are not in dispute. At the time of their discovery, the Cuban foreign ministry said that the tanker was carrying 10,000 tons of sugar and 240 metric tons of “obsolete defensive weapons” including disassembled missiles, two MiG-21 jet fighters, and two disassembled antiaircraft missile complexes, “to be repaired and returned to Cuba.” But here is what the Panamanian officials actually found hidden among the bags of Cuban sugar: night vision equipment, small arms and light-weapons ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery ammunition for anti-tank guns. This cargo is a clear violation of the U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea after its series of nuclear-bomb tests.

    This is a potentially groundbreaking case where a country in the Western Hemisphere is likely to be found in violation of U.N. Security Council sanctions on weapons proliferation. Many experts believe, and the Castro regime itself has actually admitted to the violation of international sanctions in this case. I am convinced that this case should and would be getting a lot more international attention if not for the daily and deadly news coming out of Syria, and now the heinous Al-Shabaab acts of terrorism at the mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
    The shipment of weapons by the North Korea ship raised the question about undetected previous shipment from Cuba to North Korea. Since 2009, North Korean ships have made several other trips to Cuba. The U.N. Security Council should investigate previous voyages to Cuban ports by North Korea ships.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Weapons trade with North Korea is restricted under United Nations Security Council resolutions. Obviously, the Castroit regime shall be punished for its illegal weapons dealing with North Korea. Failure to do so would undermine the U.N. Security Council resolutions. The U.N. should demonstrate that there are consequences to violation of international laws.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Cuba Ignoring Panama, U.N. Requests for Info on N. Korea Arms Shipment
    Cuba Ignoring Panama, U.N. Requests for Info on N. Korea Arms Shipment | Global Security Newswire | NTI

    By Global Security Newswire Staff
    October 18, 2013

    Cuba is not responding to requests from Panama and the U. N. Security Council for more details about an arms shipment that was interdicted on its way to North Korea, which Havana originally claimed was to have been returned after the weapons were repaired, Reuters reported on Friday.

    Panamanian Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega said there has been no communication between Havana and Panama City since an investigation into the weapons, discovered in July on the Chong Chon Gang North Korean freighter, revealed they were "obviously not obsolete" -- as the Cuban government originally claimed.

    Cuba called off a planned September meeting with Panama at the United Nations and has ignored all other Panamanian requests for contact.

    "It was like talking to a brick wall," Nunez Fabrega said in an interview.

    The Security Council subcommittee with oversight on North Korean sanctions also has been unsuccessful in its requests for information from Cuba about the interdicted shipment of 25 containers of undeclared weapons, according to Reuters. U.N. sanctions experts already have inspected the arms and are preparing an official report on the matter.

    Security Council sanctions forbid all U.N. member states from engaging in any weapons dealings with Pyongyang.

    An analysis by independent experts has concluded the arms shipment was much greater in size than Havana originally admitted and that a number of the armaments were in "mint condition." The report states the weapons -- including two Soviet-era MiG fighter jets, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank guns -- were meant for North Korea's military.

    "Of the 15 [discovered] jet engines, 10 were in immaculate condition," Nunez Fabrega said.
    Panama has decided to soon allow almost all of the 35-member North Korean ship crew to go free, as they appear to have been unaware they were transporting weapons, the minister said. The freighter's captain and his first mate could face prosecution.

    The Chong Chon Gang also will likely be released to its owner, he said.
    For sure the Castroit regime is going to remain mum after getting caught red handed shipping arms to the North Korean tyrannical regime in direct violation of UN sanctions. Why should they talk or cooperate with investigators? All they would do is stay quiet, make believe nothing happened, and chances are that sooner or later, the entire scandal will go away.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    The captain and first mate had no choice whatsoever and should also be released unless they are Americans.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Panamanian official mum on NK ship carrying arms
    Panamanian official mum on NK ship carrying arms

    THE KOREA TIMES
    Posted 11/03/2013

    A Panamanian official’s visit to South Korea last week had drawn attention after a North Korea cargo ship was caught carrying military equipment in the Panama Canal in July.

    Yet, Alfonso Castillero from the Panama Ship Registry did not have much to say except this: “When the U.N. Security Council resolutions came out years ago, we decided to avoid registration of ships coming from the Iran register, North Korean register, Iran ownership and North Korean ownership.”

    North Korea’s rusting Chong Chon Gang sailed under a North Korean flag. When caught, the ship was carrying two disassembled MIG jets, 15 MIG engines and nine antiaircraft missiles.

    Cuba claimed the missiles were transported for maintenance and were to be returned. North Korea has not made any comment.

    The news of the seizure took many countries by surprise, including Panama.

    “You probably have heard how furious the Panamanian President was about this ship getting ready to transit this canal. You realize the ship itself the way it was loaded and that was packed, could have caused a catastrophe in the canal? It was an actual threat to the canal,” said William Newcomb, a member of a panel of experts on the United Nations sanctions against North Korea, earlier this month at the Korea-Middle East Cooperation Forum in Seoul.

    “There was fuel in the tanks. This sugar that was covering the load was combustible. What would have happened to the global economy if the Panama Canal was put out of action for a week or two weeks or three weeks?”
    The Panama Government should inspect any North Korea ship traversing through the Panama Canal. This would put an end to the trafficking of drugs and military equipment byNorth Korea ships that use the Panama Canal.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    US Commends Panama for Capture of North Korean Ship Carrying Cuban
    US Commends Panama for Capture of North Korean Ship Carrying Cuban Weapons - Havana Times.org

    By Café Fuerte
    November 18, 2013

    HAVANA TIMES — This past Wednesday, Washington praised Panamanian authorities for seizing the North Korean vessel Chong Chon Gang and its illegal cargo of Cuban weapons, calling it a “very important” decision and thanking the country for continued cooperation with the United States.
    “[We] have a lot of cooperative efforts with Panama, obviously a critical nation in terms of both its interests, its values, our work we do together, as well as its location,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference in Washington. Kerry commended Panamanian authorities for “their very important seizure of a North Korean ship with illicit cargo.”

    Kerry-display.jpg
    Panamanian Foreign Minister Fernando Nuñez Fabrega and US Secretary of State John Kerry during a press conference in Washington last Wednesday

    Kerry also underscored that Panama has been working hard to meet its commitments and to be a cooperative partner of the United States, thanking the country sincerely for this.

    The Chong Chon Gang freighter was intercepted by Panamanian naval forces on July 15. On its deck, they found 240 tons of Cuban armaments, buried beneath 10 thousand tons of sugar. The incident sparked off a diplomatic crisis and prompted a UN investigation into a potential violation of the sanctions imposed on North Korea by the Security Council in 2006.
    The devil is in the details. Journalist Eduardo MacKenzie noted in an online column that “seven other North Korean ships had made trips to Cuba in the last four years with itineraries similar to the Chong Chon Gang." Is a mystery what these ships have brought to Cuba, we will likely never know.

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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Biden: Cuba-North Korea Arms Smuggling Threat to Global SecurityCapitol Hill Cubans: Biden: Cuba-North Korea Arms Smuggling Threat to Global Security

    Capitol Hill Cubans
    Tuesday, November 19, 2013

    The questions remain:

    Will Cuba suffer any consequences for this violation of international sanctions and threat to "global security"?

    Or will it continue to be "business as usual"?

    Excerpt from today's remarks by U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden in Panama City:

    As we streamline the travel and trade, we're also working together to stop illegal trafficking. Panama has interdicted 175 metric tons of cocaine. Cooperation between our law enforcement agencies is excellent and been at a peak that hasn't existed before. And Panama is rising and in some cases exceeding its responsibilities not only to us, but to the region.

    And so last July, a vessel traveling through the Panama Canal from Cuba to North Korea claimed it was carrying sugar. Well, it was a sweet cargo, but it wasn't sugar. It wasn't sugar. And Panama did something we haven't come to expect everywhere in the world -- it stepped up. It stepped up where others might have stepped back. We think it's a violation of U.S. sanctions. But, nonetheless, Panama stepped up. You found and confiscated weapons heading from Cuba to North Korea.

    The United States is thankful for your taking on that international responsibility. And you made a significant contribution for real to global security, not just U.S. security. We are pretty well capable of handling our own security. But you contributed to global security. That is what responsible nations do and that's what you have done.
    The consequences, with all probability, will be minimal. The UN so far has done nothing, seems it will be “business as usual.”

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