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South Africa reports seizing banned North Korea weapons

T-55 tanks - file image
The shipment contained spare parts for T-55 tanks, South Africa said

South Africa has confirmed it seized banned military equipment on a ship sailing from North Korea to the Republic of Congo.

The foreign ministry said it had reported the seizure to the UN Security Council, saying the shipment broke a UN weapons sanction against North Korea.

The report said spare parts for T-55 tanks were hidden among sacks of rice in two shipping containers.

The Republic of Congo has experienced a wave of violence recently.

Arms ban

South Africa's report to the UN said the two containers were seized in November last year and were being stored in Durban while an investigation into the shipment, labelled as bulldozer parts, continued.

It is not the first seizure of its kind. In December, Thailand confiscated more than 35 tons of arms from a cargo plane that made an emergency landing in Bangkok that officials said had come from North Korea.

North Korea was banned from selling arms and related equipment under UN sanctions passed in June last year after Pyongyang carried out nuclear and missile tests.

The sanctions allow searches of transport travelling to or from North Korea suspected of carrying banned goods.



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