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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Up to their old games

From the World Tribune

NICOSIA — The Republic of Cyprus has stopped a ship full of North Korean weapons systems bound for Syria.

Officials said Greek Cypriot authorities responded to an alert by Interpol to capture a ship bound for Syria from North Korea. They said security agents found a mobile air defense system and components of a missile launcher.

At this point, the Foreign Ministry has been examining the issue and maintaining contact with Damascus. This is the first time that the Republic of Cyprus was believed to have seized a suspected weapons ship to Syria.

The ship, named the Panamanian-flagged Grigorio-1, reported a consignment of weather-observation equipment, officials said. But Interpol asserted that the freighter contained North Korean weapons systems and asked Nicosia to detain the ship for inspection.

Officials did not identify the North Korean air defense system. But they reported 18 truck-mounted mobile radar systems and three command vehicles.

The ship did not contain any missiles, officials said. They said the vessel carried irrigation pipes as well as components that could be part of a missile launcher.

Officials said Damascus had asked Nicosia to release the seized shipment. They said the ship's manifest does not identify Syria as the consignee.

NATO, which administers a program to halt suspected weapons of mass destruction shipments, has denied participation in the Cypriot operation. NATO has sought partners in Operation Active Endeavor, designed to monitor the Mediterranean for Al Qaida as well as WMD suppliers.


The Grigorio-1 was tracked by Interpol for several months, officials said. They said the ship was seized on Sept. 5 when it sailed near Larnaca for refueling.

Officials said Grigorio-1 left North Korea for the Middle East and stopped at several ports. They said the last leg of the journey began from Egypt's Port Said toward the Syrian port of Latakia.

If Syria isn't the consignee, then I'd tell them to take a flying leap before letting the ship go to Latakia with its cargo. TFM being that tough talking diplomat that Adam liked. LOL.

That North Korea is selling arms is no big surprise. There is only so much they can store for domestic use. Which is why their atomic potential is troubling. The DPRK is unlikely to use such weapons against the South. They could however be sold to another country or a terrorist organization. That is the greater frear, and as I've blogged before, the military option to prevent North Korea from doing this is not a good one. Neither is the US or West being consistently able to able to stop shipments like was done here. There are no easy answers to North Korea, don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Hat tip- Bullwinkle
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