The president told the Panama Radio that the ship was trying to smuggle ” sophisticated missile equipment” through the Panama Canal.
No other details were given, but in his Twitter account Martinelli spread the blurred green tubular object which he said-was found among a shipment of sugar.
“Panama captured North Korean ship from Cuba with undeclared war cargo,” he said Panamanian president in his Twitter account.
“Material was hidden in containers on a cargo of sugar,” he added.
He said the ship was detained for further investigations.
Information disseminated by the local press, said that the boat was held at the Port of Manzanillo in Columbus.
According to Reuters news agency, citing an interview that Martinelli on a Panamanian TV channel, the president said that the captain of the vessel attempted suicide after the ship was stopped.
Martinelli said authorities will continue the unloading of the vessel to determine exactly what is inside.
The president also said no ship is allowed to sail through the Panama Canal with undeclared war weapons.
It was reported that authorities arrested about 35 members of the crew.
Speaking to Radio In Panama, Martinelli said: “Panama is a country of peace and not of war.”
The latest United Nations sanctions will prevent North Korea exporting and importing arms. In the case of imports, only light weapons can be imported.
The restrictions were intensified after North Korea carried out its third nuclear test on February 12. It gave the states the authority to inspect suspect vessels.
In recent years, several North Korean ships have been seized under the regime of UN sanctions.
In July 2009, a North Korean vessel bound for Burma was forced by the U.S. Navy to return to port after being suspected of carrying weapons.
Experts believe that Pyongyang is developing a nuclear warhead small enough to be placed in a long-range missile.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica