x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

UAE seizes N Korean arms shipment

The UAE has seized a ship carrying North Korean weapons which were bound for Iran, in violation of UN sanctions.

The United Arab Emirates has seized a ship carrying North Korean weapons bound for Iran in violation of UN sanctions, a diplomatic source said today. The diplomat said UAE government officials had informed the UN Security Council's sanctions committee, which is responsible for implementing sanctions on Pyongyang. "It is an issue that is being processed by the committee," said the source, who declined further comment on details on the weapons.

The UAE mission to the United Nations also declined to comment on the case. The Financial Times reported earlier yesterday that the ship was seized "some weeks ago," and identified some of the armaments as basic weaponry, including rocket-propelled grenades. The arms had been falsely labelled as "machine parts," the Financial Times reported. The new round of UN sanctions were approved unanimously on June 12, under resolution 1874, in response to North Korea's earlier nuclear weapons test and subsequent missile launches.

The resolution included financial sanctions designed to choke off revenue to the regime, and also called for beefed-up inspections of air, sea and land shipments going to and from North Korea, and an expanded arms embargo. North Korea vowed to build more bombs and to start a new weapons programme based on uranium enrichment in response to the sanctions. * AFP