North Korean ship carrying long-range missiles intercepted in Arabian Sea
Scud missiles, believed to be North Korean, have been seized from a freighter intercepted by the Spanish navy in the Arabian Sea, the United States said.
The ship allegedly was stopped by two vessels from the Spanish navy participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led global anti-terrorism coalition, said Alberto Martinez Arias, a spokesman for Spain's Defense Ministry.
Crews from the Spanish ships, the Navarra and Patino, stopped the ship east of the island of Socotora and called U.S. authorities for assistance, Martinez said.
US investigators were inspecting the shipment, US officials said, according to AFP. "During a search by a multinational team, Scuds were found, believed to be from North Korea," said Amy Black, a State Department spokeswoman.
"We are working with other governments on next steps. There is no final determination of the intended destination of the shipment."
A senior State Department official said that the destination of the shipment "may well have been Yemen."
Spanish government sources said the ship was carrying 12 Scuds which were hidden under a consignment of cement. It also contained missile parts.
CNN television, quoting US Defence Department officials, said the ship did not have a flag of nationality but had started its voyage in North Korea.
The vessel, named the "So San," had been under surveillance by US intelligence since it left North Korea, according to the report. CNN quoted a Spanish official who said the navy had to fire shots to get the freighter to stop on Monday. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)