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July 17th, 2013
05:58 AM ET

Panama stops N. Korean vessel with weapons on board – Barbara Starr reports

CNN has new details today on the violent seizure of a North Korean ship in Panama.

We learn that what was on board may have international implications.

According to statement by Cuba's Foreign Ministry, the equipment found by Panamanian authorities included 10,000 tons of sugar as well as 240 metric tons of obsolete defensive weapons being sent to North Korea for repair and returned to Cuba.

Barbara Starr has the latest.

A senior US official tells CNN that US intelligence had been tracking the ship for days and knew that the Panamanians would stop it.

“Officials now believe the cargo on board was a radar used to help Cuba's SA-2 surface to air missiles hit their targets—and that Cuba was possibly sending it back to North Korea for an upgrade,” Starr reports.

“Bags of sugar marked Cuba, now visible in the cargo, laid on top of the weapons material…Panama is now asking for an international team of inspectors to board the ship and determine exactly what was under those Cuban bags of sugar.”

For details as the story develops, visit CNN.com.

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