North Korea agrees fine with Panama

North Korea has agreed to pay a reduced fine to ensure the return of a ship stopped near the Panama Canal which had military weapons from Cuba on board.

North Korea agrees fine with Panama for ship’s release

North Korea has agreed to pay a reduced fine to ensure the return of a ship stopped near the Panama Canal which had military weapons from Cuba on board.

The settlement should end a protracted dispute over the Chong Chon Gang, the freighter intercepted by Panamanian customs officers on July 10 as it tried to enter the canal.

Authorities uncovered 25 containers of military hardware, including two Soviet era MiG-21 fighter jets, air defense systems, missiles and command and control vehicles, concealed within 200,000 sacks of sugar.

Panama, which is holding the North Korean ship’s 35-strong crew at a former US naval base, previously said the communist state must pay a million dollar penalty for the boat’s release.

But Julio Berrios, a lawyer for the crew, said a reduced fine of $670,000 had been agreed between local officials and a North Korean delegation who traveled to Panama to resolve the issue.

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Source: Channel News Asia.

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