The latest from AP: Thailand confirms US helped in weapons seizure
BANGKOK — Thailand’s seizure of tons of illicit weapons from a plane from North Korea was the result of cooperation with the United States, a senior official said Thursday.
The Ilyushin Il-76 transport plane was impounded Saturday in Bangkok during what officials said was a scheduled refueling stop. Thai authorities found a reported 35 tons of weaponry aboard it, all exported from North Korea in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
Speaking at a news conference, National Security Council chief Thawil Pliensri confirmed media reports that there had been U.S. assistance in the seizure, but gave no details.
He that Thailand was waiting for advice from the United Nations on whether the weapons should be destroyed.
The U.N. sanctions — which ban North Korea from exporting any arms — were imposed in June after the reclusive communist regime conducted a nuclear test and test-fired missiles. They are aimed at derailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, but also ban it from selling any conventional arms.
Thawil revealed little else new at his news conference, which seemed aimed at quashing some rumors. He denied that Thailand would receive a reward or bounty for the seizure, or that it was pressured to act, saying it took action “as a member of the world community.”
He added, however, that Thailand would like to be compensated if possible by the U.N. for the cost of transporting the weapons, which were taken to an Air Force base in the nearby province of Nakhon Sawan.
What a story.
Quick administrative note: Given the likelihood of future posts on this subject, I’ve created a label for reference: north_korea_weapons. I’ve added this label to past posts on the topic, as well.