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

  1. #61
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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Panama Releases Crew Of Ship Transporting Arms From Cuba To North Korea
    Panama Releases Crew Of Ship Transporting Arms From Cuba To North Korea | Fox News Latino

    Published November 27, 2013
    Fox News Latino

    PANAMA CITY (AP) – Thirty-two of 35 crew members and a North Korean ship seized for carrying hidden arms from Cuba can be released, a Panamanian prosecutor said Wednesday.

    Three of the crew members, including the captain, will be detained and face charges of arms trafficking, said organized crime prosecutor Nathaniel Murgas.

    "The 32 are being released because they didn't know about the cargo," Murgas said.

    He said the ship was legally free to go. But according to the officials with the Panama Canal zone, the ship cannot move until the North Koreans pay a $1 million fine levied because the ship's crew threatened the canal's security by not declaring it was transporting weapons. So far the fine has not been resolved, said canal legal adviser Alvaro Cabal.

    A North Korean delegation arrived last week to negotiate the return of the ship and crew.

    The ship, Chong Chon Gang, was headed from Cuba to North Korea when it was seized in the canal July 15 based on intelligence that it may have been carrying drugs.

    The manifest said it was carrying 10,000 tons of sugar, but Cuban military equipment was found beneath the sacks. Crews unloading the North Korean-flagged ship found planes, missiles and live munitions on board.

    U.N. sanctions state that member states shall prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of all arms and material to North Korea, and related spare parts, except for small arms and light weapons.

    A U.N. panel of experts monitoring sanctions against North Korea visited Panama in mid-August to investigate the arms seizure.

    The Panamanian Security Ministry said a preliminary report by the panel determined "without a doubt" that the Cuban weapons violated sanctions restricting weapons trading with North Korea.

    Cuba's Foreign Ministry acknowledged that the military equipment belonged to the Caribbean nation, but said it had been shipped out to be repaired and returned to the island. It said the 240 metric tons of weaponry consisted of two Volga and Pechora anti-aircraft missile systems, nine missiles "in parts and spares," two MiG-21s and 15 engines for those airplanes. The ministry never mentioned the live munitions and has yet to comment to about them.

    North Korea claimed it had a legitimate contract to overhaul aging weapons to be sent back to Cuba.
    Panamanian officials say the ship carried two Cuban fighter jets in perfect condition, contradicting Cuba's explanation that the cargo included "obsolete defensive weapons."

    The crew was being been held in a former U.S. military base in Colón, near where the ship was being held.
    The arms smuggling story has been largely downplayed because it doesn't serve the interests of the MSM. As usual, hardly anyone pays attention because it's neither a feel-good story nor something that tickles the fancy of potential tourists.

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

    The MSM will keep printing stories like this. For them Cuba is a place for vacation on the Fantasy Island of Dr. Castro. They don’t want to deal with the regime reality. Their main goal is to use the island as a pleasure ground for tourist. For them the truth about the Castroit regime is a secondary issue. They just give lip service to the ongoing reality.

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

    Can we have a Cuba forum just for Sandokan rants please?

    Especially if he's going to keep necro'ing his old threads...
    Quote Originally Posted by Moderate Right View Post
    The sad fact is that having a pedophile win is better than having a Democrat in office. I'm all for a solution where a Republican gets in that isn't Moore.

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

    The Cuban connection
    Cuban relations with North Korea: The Cuban connection | The Economist

    Dec 15th 2013, 6:15 by Economist.com

    THIS is not the best time to be a confidante of Jang Sung Taek, the uncle of Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, who was executed in Pyongyang this week. One man who is apparently already counting the cost of close association with Mr Jang is the North Korean ambassador to Cuba.

    Ambassador Jon Yong Jin is a veteran diplomat who boasted what were considered, until very recently, impeccable credentials: he is married to Mr Jang's elder sister. South Korean officials say he was ordered back home on around December 6th. (Another diplomat to be recalled to Pyongyang was North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, a nephew of Mr Jang’s.) Mr Jon’s appointment in February 2012, together with a high-profile five-day visit in June 2013 to Havana by the head of the North Korean army's general staff, General Kim Kyok Sik, had been seen as a sign of closer alliance between two enduring communist powers.

    Despite a broadly-shared ideology, Cuba and North Korea have had their differences. President Kim Il Sung, a proponent of the non-aligned movement, was apparently unimpressed by Fidel Castro's admiration of the Soviet Union. Castro only visited Pyongyang once, in 1986. His decision that no statues to living persons (ie, himself) would be put up in Cuba appeared to be an attempt to distance Cuba’s version of communism from the personality cults of North Korea. In the 1980s Cuba did receive (apparently for free) 100,000 AK47s from North Korea, but trade had been minimal until recently.

    Under Raul Castro (who formally took over the Cuban presidency in 2008), military and commercial co-operation appears to have increased. The nature of the relationship was dramatically exposed in July, when the Panamanian authorities intercepted a North Korean ship carrying arms from Cuba. The ship had plied the same route at least once before. Cuba initially described the intercepted cargo as nothing more than aid in the form of sugar. When weapons were discovered under the bags of sugar, the authorities in Havana then attempted to dismiss the cache as "obsolete" items that were en route to North Korea for repairs (the UN prohibits all arms transfers to North Korea).

    But a thorough inspection suggests that was not the case. The vessel was carrying 25 shipping containers with military equipment inside. The cargo included two Mig-21 jet fighters. The jet fuel inside their tanks, along with maintenance logs, indicated that they had recently been flown. Ammunition and 15 apparently new MiG engines were also discovered. Panama’s foreign minister, Fernando Nuñez Fabrega, says he believes the shipment was "part of a major deal" between the two countries. The United Nations is preparing a report on the episode.

    Shortly after the ship’s interception, General Kim Kyok Sik, the army chief who had met Raul Castro in August, was dismissed (although some reports suggest his appointment was always temporary). In its unprecedented character assassination of Mr Jang before his summary execution, North Korea said, among other things, that he "stretched his tentacles" into areas where he should not have been interfering. Whether the arms deal with Cuba was an example of that may never be known. But it does seem likely that North Korea will need a new man in Havana.
    The recent executions and purges in North Korea leadership look like punishment for getting caught smuggling weapons from Cuba. Cuba's air force chief, General Pedro Mendiondo, was "killed" in a mysterious car crash in August 25 after a team of UN experts doing the investigation had requested permission to question the general. In August 29, North Korea's Army Chief General Kim Kyok-sik who led the North Korean delegation to Havana early in July, where the illegal weapons smuggling deal was arranged and met with Raul Castro, was purged from his post and disappeared from sight.

    On December 6, North Korean ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong Jin, married to the elder sister of Jang Sung Taek executed on December 12, was ordered back home. Jon Yong participated in the meeting with Raul Castro and Kim Kyok in July, and his whereabouts are not known at the present time.

    It is evident that the Castroit regime and the North Korea dictatorship, in typical totalitarian style, decided to take out of circulation those involved in the North Korean ship weapons smuggling.

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

    Panama accuses Cuba of refusing to cooperate
    Panama accuses Cuba of refusing to cooperate - Americas - MiamiHerald.com

    BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
    JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM
    POSTED 01/21/2014

    Panama will send a low-ranking official to a summit of hemispheric leaders in Cuba to signal its displeasure with Havana’s refusal to cooperate over a shipment of Cuban weapons seized aboard a North Korean freighter, sources said Tuesday.

    Floreal Garrido, the fifth-ranking official in Panama’s Foreign Ministry, will represent his government at the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a knowledgeable ministry source told El Nuevo Herald on Tuesday.

    Garrido, whose official title is Director of Foreign Policy, will be attending a Jan. 28-29 gathering where many of the 33 other countries’ delegations will be led by presidents, prime ministers or foreign ministers. The U.S. and Canada are not part of CELAC.

    “We will send them our fifth-ranking official to Havana to show our displeasure with their total lack of cooperation on the matter of the North Korean ship,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

    Relations between the governments of Panama and Cuba cooled significantly after Panama authorities seized the North Korean ship loaded with Cuban weapons in July as it prepared to cross the Panama Canal westbound from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

    Investigators for the U.N. Security Council have been trying to determine whether the weapons — 420 tons of anti-aircraft radars and missile parts, MiG jets, motors for the warplanes and other munitions — violated the arms embargoes slapped on North Korea for its nuclear weapons and missile development programs.

    The weapons shipment was hidden under 10,000 tons of Cuban sugar that had to be unloaded by hand after the crew of the bulk carrier Chong Chon Gang sabotaged the ship’s loading cranes. The 508-foot ship, crew, sugar and weapons remain in Panama.

    The Foreign Ministry official in Panama said the Cuban government has not replied to any of Panama’s requests for information on the sugar or the weapons and why they were being shipped to a country under a U.N. arms embargo.

    Cuba’s only public comment on the weapons so far has been to say that they were going to be refurbished in North Korea and then returned to the island.

    Cuban officials met in Havana last year with some of the U.N. Security Council Investigators to give their side of the weapons shipments, but the investigators have not made public their findings.

    Cuban ruler Raúl Castro and 13 other heads of state and government did not attend the IberoAmerican Summit in Panama in October.
    The Castroit military dictatorship so far has nothing to replied to Panama’s requests for information after it was caught attempting to smuggle 420 tons of missiles, anti-aircraft radars, munitions, warplane motors and fighter jets through the Panama Canal, hidden under 10 tons of sugar, to the terrorist country of North Korea in violation of U.N sanctions.

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

    Sandokan the fight is over you lost, Obama will make peace with the Castro regime before he leaves. Let old dogs lie my friend.
    ‘This is not peace, it is an armistice for 20 years.’ (Ferdinand Foch. After the Treaty of Versailles, 1919).

  7. #67
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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    Seems that practically anything heading to or from the Castroit regime through the Panama Canal could be subjected to increase scrutiny, delaying needed goods shipped from Russia and China. It is even possible that the regime ships could be banned from the use of the Panama Canal.

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

    The Castroit regime doesn’t has the right to clandestinely shipping weapons to North Korea which is under an arms embargo by the UN. The regime is a member of the UN that supposed to comply with the embargo, and Panama has every right to know what is being transported through its sovereign territory

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

    Report claims N. Korea executed relatives of purged uncle
    Report claims N. Korea executed relatives of purged uncle

    Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
    4:13 p.m. EST January 27, 2014

    BEIJING — After executing his powerful uncle last month, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un took his purge to an extreme degree by putting to death almost all the uncle's direct relatives, including children, said an unconfirmed report by the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

    If the wave of killings is ever confirmed, it suggests Kim's brutality exceeds even that of his father and grandfather, his predecessors in power, said one North Korea expert Monday. The move also reveals Kim's fear of opposition forces, said Hong Kwan-hee, a professor in the Department of North Korea Studies at Korea University.

    Citing multiple but unnamed sources, Yonhap said Kim ordered the killings, which took place after the Dec. 12 execution of Jang Song Thaek, husband of Kim's aunt, the daughter of the regime's founding father Kim Il Sung. Jang's removal surprised most North Korea watchers, as he was considered the second most powerful figure in the highly repressive and isolated state.

    "The executions of Jang's relatives mean that no traces of him should be left," one source told Yonhap. "The purge of the Jang Song-thaek people is under way on an extensive scale from relatives and low-level officials."
    The relatives killed include Jang's sister,Jang Kye-sun; her husband Jon Yong-jin, North Korea's ambassador to Cuba; Jang Yong-chol, ambassador to Malaysia; a nephew of Jang Song Thaek; and Jang Yong-chol's two sons, said Yonhap. All had been recalled to Pyongyang in early December. The sons, daughters and grandchildren of Jang's two deceased elder brothers were also executed, sources told Yonhap.
    The North Korea Ambassador to the Castroit tyrannical regime has been reported killed by the tyrant Kim Jong Un. On December 6, 2013, North Korean ambassador to Cuba Jon Yong Jin was ordered back home. Jon Yong participated in the meeting with Raul Castro and Kim Kyok in July 2013. It is evident that the Castroit regime and the North Korea dictatorship, in typical totalitarian style, decided to take out of circulation those involved in the North Korean ship weapons smuggling. Obviously a reward for the diplomatic failure to conceal the weapons smuggling.

  10. #70
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    Re: Cuba confirms arms bound for North Korea on ship seized in Panama

    I didnt realize Cuba had any weapons worth exporting since you know, they still use 1950s cars as their primary means of transportation...

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