U.S.-Backed Panamanian Seizure of North Korean Cargo Ship

July 22, 2013

On July 15, while in contact with U.S. Southern Command, Panamanian authorities seized a North Korean cargo ship. After stopping the ship Panamanian authorities began searching it, but only after arresting all the members of the crew. Despite calls from the DPRK and other governments to release the ship and its crew the Panamanian authorities have rejected the option, citing a U.S-backed plan to wait until after a UN delegation arrives in Panama and verifies that none of the goods on the ship violate a UN sanctioned arms embargo.

After the ship was seized U.S. officials began boasting of the U.S. government's "full support" of the ship's seizure.

The anti-people character of the so-called "rule of law" espoused by U.S. imperialism can be seen in the fact that the U.S. wasted no time politicizing the situation. At stake is nothing less than the neutral status of the Panama Canal – one of the most heavily trafficked trade zones in the world.

The latest incident once again shows that the UN sanctions are an attack not only on the sovereignty of North Korea, but also its trade partners. In this case the exchange of goods and services between Cuba and Korea is being criminalized and their right to form and carry on trade relationships violated. In addition, U.S. imperialism has seized on every opportunity to infuse tensions into the situation.

Clearly the source of the negative situation and the danger of its further deterioration is U.S. imperialism which continually works to assert itself as the sole superpower by fomenting tensions and militarizing every situation.