Panama ending search of N. Korean ship from Cuba

PANAMA CITY (AP) — Panamanian officials say they’re ending their search of a North Korean ship that was detained as it carried weapons from Cuba.

Public Security Minister Jose Raul Mulino tells The Associated Press that Panama removed the ship’s last unopened container, which was buried under sacks of sugar, and found it held equipment for launching missiles.

Panama has unloaded and searched 25 containers, finding a variety of weapons systems and parts. Cuba says it was not violating sanctions meant to halt sophisticated arms sales to North Korea because the ship contained obsolete weapons being sent back for repair.

But some of the containers were loaded with undeclared live munitions, and United Nations experts will be in Panama in the coming days to prepare a report on whether the shipment violated sanctions.

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