Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rules? I don't follow no stinking rules

North Korea just keeps on ignoring everyone and everything.

They set a great example for Iran and Venezuela don't they?

Thailand seizes 'N Korea arms jet'
Al Jazeera

A cargo aircraft transporting over 35 tonnes of arms from North Korea has been seized and its five-man crew detained after landing at Bangkok airport for refuelling, Thai officials have said.

The arms included missiles and grenades, Panitan Wattanayagorn, a spokesman for the Thai government, told Al Jazeera on Sunday.

"The incident is under investigation by the Thai police and tomorrow the five gentlemen will be processed through a court of law in Thailand," Wattanayagorn said.

"We believe that since the plane came from North Korea it violated UN resolutions and we will proceed accordingly."

Since carrying out a nuclear test in May, North Korea has been under UN sanctions aimed at cutting off its arms sales which are thought to net Pyonyang more than $1bn a year.

'Tangible proof'

The North's biggest arms sales come from ballistic missiles and its customers include Iran and other Middle Eastern states, according to US government officials.

Mercedes Stephenson, a defence and security analyst based in Toronto, told Al Jazeera the incident was "tangible proof that North Korea is actually engaging in this activity".

"It's significant in that they've actually caught this particular shipment, [but] it's small in the overall amount of shipping that we suspect North Korea is actually doing ... it is very difficult to track illicit arms shipments."

Media reports said that Thai authorities were alerted about the aircraft's cargo by US officials.

Wattanayagorn did not comment on the reports but said: "We have been working with many agencies from many countries and we will continue to do so."

He said the aircraft had been due to stop again for refuelling in Colombo, Sri Lanka, but that it was unclear what the crew's ultimate destination had been.

Thai police said that four of the five men arrested are from Kazakhstan and one is from Belarus.

The men denied charges of arms possession and were refused bail.