Panama President Will Respect Report On Chong Chon Gang Vessel


President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal. (UN Image)

News Americas, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Weds. Sept. 24, 2013: President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, insists Panama will respect the results of an investigation outlined in a preliminary report to the Security Council concerning the North Korean-flagged merchant vessel Chong Chon Gang.

The vessel was detained in Panama since mid-July for attempting to transport an “enormous amount” of war material from Cuba.

Martinelli in an address to the 68th General Assembly on Wednesday said he had “no problem at all” with the states involved in the matter.

Rule of law, mediation, and dialogue must be the tools used to confront any conflicts in the region,” he said.

Crews unloading a North Korean-flagged ship detained in the Panama Canal in July for carrying undeclared arms from Cuba have found live munitions on board.

Explosive-sniffing dogs found ammunition for grenade launchers and other unidentified types on munition. The weapons discovery triggered an investigation by the U.N. Security Council committee that monitors the sanctions against North Korea. Panama has filed charges against the crew for transporting undeclared military equipment.

The ship was found to be “without doubt” in violation of United Nations sanctions against arms transfers to Pyongyang, North Korea, according to a United Nations report.

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