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35 tons of North Korea war weaponry seized

Published 14/12/2009

The seizure in Thailand of 35 tons of war weaponry from North Korea and the arrest of five foreigners charged with illegal possession of arms may hit US efforts to negotiate a halt to Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, observers say.

Thai authorities, reportedly acting on a tip from their US counterparts, impounded an Ilyushin 76 transport plane carrying explosives, rocket-propelled grenades and components for surface-to-air missiles, during a refuelling stop at Bangkok's Don Muang airport on Saturday. Four men from Kazakhstan and one from Belarus were arrested.

"There is a possibility that the incident could have a negative effect on moves to get the North to rejoin the six-party talks and a US-North Korea dialogue mood," Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, said.

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