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Monday, September 30, 2013

Hearing on "A Closer Look at Cuba and its Recent History of Proliferation"

Mary Beth Nikitin
Specialist in Nonproliferation

ChairmanSalmon, Ranking MemberSires, distinguished members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the recent incident of proliferation from Cuba and the U.N. Sanctions Committee’s response.

The interdiction by Panama on July 10 of the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gangrevealed ahidden shipment of military goods, ranging from fighter planesto ammunitionthat was on its way to North Korea, according to press reportsand the Cuban government. While we await official reports of what investigators found on the ship, the Cuban government issued a statement on July 16 saying that the weapons being transported on the ship were “two anti-aircraft missiles complexes Volga and Pechora, nine missilesin parts and spares, two MiG21bisand 15 motors for this type of airplane.” According to other reports, the ship was also carrying far more material, including artillery ammunition, light weapons ammunition such as rocket-propelled grenades, and other military items. The ship’stwo previous stopswere Puerto Padre and Havana, Cuba. It is not yet clear whether Cuba had sent the latest weapons shipment to North Korea as a sale, for repair as it claims, or a combination of the two. The sugar which hid the weapons on the Chong Chon Gangmay have been part of a barter arrangement, but it is also possible that payment was made in some other way.

Date of Report: September 26, 2013
Number of Pages: 3
Order Number: T-092613
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