HAVANA TIMES — Panamanian authorities confirmed today the completion of unloading the North Korean vessel “Chong Chon Gang” detained in this Central American country, with a cargo of undeclared Cuban weapons on board, reported DPA news.
Panama’s Public Ministry stated that all the containers and trucks carrying military equipment on ship from Cuba our now on land. The ship is docked in the port of Manzanillo, in the city of Colon, 80 miles north of the capital.
Drug Prosecutor Javier Caraballo said an inspection had corroborated boxes containing disassembled SA2, and SA3 missiles. To reach the weapons, it was necessary to unload 10,000 tons of brown sugar.
The announcement was made a day before the arrival in Panama from an expert mission of the UN Security Council, which on Tuesday will travel to Colon to examine the cargo seized and determine if it violates the arms embargo imposed on North Korea.
Previously, the government of Cuba said that in addition to sugar, the ship was carrying “240 tons of obsolete defensive armaments, two Volga and Pechora anti-aircraft systems, Nine rockets in parts and pieces, two Mig-21 Bis aircraft and 15 aircraft engines, all manufactured in the middle of the last century.” They said the weapons were being “shipped for repair after which they would returned to our country.”
However, Caraballo said that aboard the ship, intended to cross the Panama Canal, were also missiles.
The ship’s crew was accused of violating Panama’s security, due to the undeclared transport of dangerous weapons, but has refused to testify.