Cuba says seized DPRK ship carries obsolete weapons

Updated: 2013-07-17 15:30


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HAVANA - A cargo ship of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seized in Panama was loaded at a Cuban port with 240 tons of "obsolete defensive weaponry," the Cuban Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

The ship, also loaded with 10,000 tons of sugar and the weapons such as two anti-aircraft missile batteries, nine disassembled rockets, two MiG-21 fighter jets, and 15 MiG-21 engines, were being sent back to the DPRK for repair, the ministry said in a statement.

The weapons, all built in the middle of the last century, were required "to maintain our defensive capacity to preserve national sovereignty," the statement said, adding that they would be returned to Cuba after repair.

"Cuba maintains its commitment to peace including nuclear disarmament and international law," it said.

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli said on Monday that a DPRK-flagged cargo ship suspected of hiding missile equipment in a shipment of sugar from Cuba, was seized.