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Arms found on ship from NKorea to Iran


Weapons including rocket-propelled grenades were found on an Australian-owned ship seized by the United Arab Emirates while travelling from North Korea to Iran, Australia's transport minister confirmed yesterday.
Anthony Albanese said Australia was investigating the vessel ANL Australia, which was reportedly stopped earlier this month carrying a shipment of North Korean arms.
"I can confirm that that is the case," Albanese told Channel Nine television when asked whether weapons including grenade launchers were found on the ship.
The vessel's seizure marks the first time a nation has acted on UN sanctions to stop the communist state's arms proliferation, a UN diplomat told AFP Friday.
Albanese said Australia took its responsibilities under the UN sanctions seriously and the foreign affairs department was investigating the circumstances surrounding the seizure.
"We are investigating as to whether there have been any breaches of Australian law," he said.
"If there have been, that will be referred to the appropriate police authorities."
The incident emerged despite a recent easing of tensions with the hardline communist nation, which has been seeking a resumption of talks with the United States three months after stunning the world with a nuclear test.
But the seizure is seen as an indication that North Korea remains set on exporting its military technology, long a top money-maker for one of the world's poorest and most isolated nations.
The arms had been falsely labelled "machine parts," the Financial Times reported.
ANL is a Melbourne-based subsidiary of the world's third-largest container company CMA CGM, which has its global headquarters in the French port of Marseille.