Last week Panamanian authorities stopped a North Korean ship carrying cargo from Cuba that violates UN sanctions against the reclusive Asian country.
Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says Panama has exercised its legitimacy by trying to uphold the sanctions as the ship passed through its territory.
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon came out and praised Panama for taking this action, and claimed that it really is the responsibility of all members of the United Nations to uphold these types of sanctions,” Cruise says. “They have legitimacy as the Panama Canal goes through their territory.”
CIS Dean Suzette Grillot called the entire incident, which included a suicide attempt, “very suspicious.”
“It makes you wonder how much other cargo is floating around the world violating these sanctions,” Grillot says. “There's this clear connection now between Cuba and North Korea.”