Americas

February 13, 2014

U.N.: Cuba weapons shipment to North Korea violated arms embargo

A shipment of Cuban weapons to North Korea last summer violated a U.N. arms embargo on the Asian nation and showed a “comprehensive planned strategy to conceal” the cargo, a team of U.N. sanctions investigators have reportedly concluded.

A shipment of Cuban weapons to North Korea last summer violated a U.N. arms embargo on the Asian nation and showed a “comprehensive planned strategy to conceal” the cargo, a team of U.N. sanctions investigators have reportedly concluded.

Japan’s Kyodo News International news agency reported that the secret report submitted by the investigators to the U.N. Security Council states that the Cuban shipment constituted “sanctions violations.”

Panama authorities discovered the weapons, including anti-aircraft missile radar systems and engines for MiG warplanes, hidden under 10,000 tons of Cuban sugar when the seized the Chong Chon Gang freighter on its way to North Korea.

North Korea, officially named the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), used a string of companies for the shipment, and the freighter turned off its locator beacon while it sailed in Caribbean waters, according to the report.

“The employment of so many role-players in support of the trip suggests a network of entities centrally managed working together to deflect scrutiny in order to evade sanctions by minimizing the DPRK's visibility in transactions,” the U.N. investigators wrote.

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