Greece searches ship for North Korean arms: source

ATHENS (BestGrowthStock) – Greece was investigating on Tuesday whether electronic chips and pieces of metal found on a cargo ship suspected of carrying arms from North Korea to Syria could have illicit military uses, officials said.

The U.N. Security Council agreed in June last year a ban on the export of all weapons by North Korea. The expanded sanctions were aimed at cutting off its arms sales, a vital export estimated to earn it more than $1 billion a year.

Greek authorities inspected the vessel, which was sailing near the port of Piraeus, after a tip-off it was carrying missiles and arms from North Korea, the officials said.

“It’s a French-owned, German-flagged ship with cargo from North Korea, probably sailing to Syria,” a senior government official told Reuters. “We have found non-military material that could have a dual use.”

An official close to the operation confirmed no missiles or weapons were found in the ship’s five containers.

“We haven’t found missiles, explosives or any kind of arms only electronic chips, plastic and pieces of metal,” said the official who declined to be named. “It’s not clear if or how these could be used to build weapons.”

The ship would be released if the material found could not be used to build arms, the official said.

North Korea’s biggest weapons sales come from ballistic missiles, with Iran and other Middle Eastern states as customers, according to U.S. government officials.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Ingrid Melander and Renee Maltezou)

Greece searches ship for North Korean arms: source