U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement regarding the fact that a ship from Cuba headed to North Korea contained sophisticated missile equipment. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Any nation that is found to be exporting arms or arms related materiel to North Korea would be in violation of a number of UN Security Council resolutions. The recent exposure of a North Korean-flagged vessel bound for North Korea from Cuba, containing small arms and missile equipment would find both these rogue nations in violation of those Security Council resolutions. This reaffirms what we already know: the Castro brothers and the Kim dynasty have absolutely no intention of adhering to their international obligations, and will stop at nothing to assist each other in skirting the law.
"Our policy is clear when it comes to the matter of arms or related materiel being imported from or exported to North Korea. The time to act on this is now. This is likely not the first time these two rogue regimes have conducted this type of sordid dealing, and we must send a clear message that these illicit activities will not, and must not, be tolerated.
"I call on the Department of State to instruct the U.S. Mission at the UN to urge UN Sanctions Committee inspectors to go to Panama and conduct an immediate and thorough investigation to find whether these two regimes are in violation of the applicable UN resolutions. But we cannot afford to wait for the UN to conduct its business. The State Department must immediately re-designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and impose increased sanctions on any individual, entity or government involved in transferring arms to Pyongyang."
NOTE: On June 7, 2013, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen led a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry with a group of Congressional Members urging the Administrations to re-designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST). Also, on February 28, 2013, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen introduced HR 893 -- the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Accountability Act that increases sanctions on any person or entity transferring goods, services, or technology for the chemical, biological, or advanced conventional weapons program of Iran, North Korea, and Syria and prohibits assistance to any foreign government that has provided assistance to Iran, North Korea or Syria.