North Korean Ship Smuggling Missiles From Cuba Intercepted In Panama

The freighter’s captain tried to go down with his ship and commit suicide.

1. Panamanian authorities flagged an aging North Korean freighter that was posing as a ship transporting raw sugar from Cuba.

Carlos Jasso / Reuters

2. The 36-year-old ship had rarely come into the Western Hemisphere, and once on board, inspectors discovered a hidden compartment under the sugar. In it were missile components that might violate sanctions imposed on North Korea by the United Nations.

3. The crew was taken into custody when they refused to follow the Panamanian authorities’ orders, and the captain had to be stopped from trying to kill himself.

Carlos Jasso / Reuters

4. Panama’s president announced the impounding of the ship on Twitter and posted a photo of the missile system components.

Ricardo Martinelli


Panam�e1 capturo barco de bandera Norcoreana proveniente de cuba con cargamento b�e9lico no declarado

5. Officials said the tip to search the vessel came from Panamanian intelligence but declined to say whether other countries helped:

The president said the ship would undergo a thorough inspection to look for any more contraband. “We’re going to keep unloading the ship and figure out exactly what was inside,” he said. “You cannot go around shipping undeclared weapons of war through the Panama Canal.”

Check out more articles on!

Adrian Carrasquillo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
  Your Reaction?


    Here Are The Top Stories
    • The World Health Organization says that an interim analysis of a potential Ebola vaccine shows "100% efficacy in individuals."
    • Airplane debris discovered Wednesday on the coast of the French island of Réunion is found to belong to a Boeing 777, a Malaysian official confirmed to AFP Friday.
    • Beijing has won its bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. It's the first city to host both the summer and winter games.
    Get The News App

    Hot Buzz

    What’s Your All-Time Favorite Anna Kendrick Quote?


    What Dating Advice Would You Give Your Twentysomething Self?


    Now Buzzing