CNN reports that Panamanian officials received a tip that a North Korean ship approaching the Panama Canal may be carrying drugs. Panama stopped the ship, and its captain suffered an apparent heart attack before attempting to kill himself. The ship’s crew of 35 resisted arrest.
That aroused suspicions further, and Panama’s President Ricard Martinelli decided to attend the inspection of the ship himself. Under a cargo of brown sugar, the Panamanians discovered a large, long object with a pointed end — a missile in a shipping container, from the looks of it. President Martinelli tweeted a photo of the mystery object.
Panamá capturo barco de bandera Norcoreana proveniente de cuba con cargamento bélico no declarado pic.twitter.com/MdWGfbXvVJ
— Ricardo Martinelli (@rmartinelli) July 16, 2013
Adding to the suspicion, the North Korean ship was coming to the canal from Cuba. North Korea is under heavy sanctions against buying or shipping most weapons. It looks like the Cubans are helping North Korea bust those sanctions.