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 India experts search N Korea ship

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PostSubject: India experts search N Korea ship   Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:44 am


India experts search N Korea ship



The final destination of the MV Mu San remains unclear


Indian scientists and police searching a North Korean ship detained in the Andaman islands have so far not found any nuclear materials, officials say.
The MV Mu San dropped anchor off Hut Bay island without permission on Wednesday, India said.
It attempted to flee and the Indian coastguard detained it after a chase.
The search is in line with a UN resolution allowing for the inspection of air, ship and land cargoes in and out of North Korea.
The resolution followed North Korea's nuclear and missile tests in May.
"We have been checking the ship for any radioactive material, but I must say we have found nothing like that so far," senior Andaman police official Ashok Chand said.
"But we will continue checking it until we are satisfied there is nothing wrong with the consignment."
Mr Chand said the ship, which was escorted to Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar islands, was carrying a huge consignment of sugar.
'Burma link'
The ultimate destination of the ship is not clear. Indian intelligence officials have now started questioning the 39-member crew, after the arrival of a Korean interpreter.
An Indian external intelligence official who wished to remain anonymous told the BBC's Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta that they had "definite reports" that North Korea was transferring equipment and material to Burma to help it build a nuclear reactor.

"That process has started and we know that for sure from our own reports and those generated by friendly western intelligence agencies," the official said.
"That is why we want to be sure this ship has none of that stuff and therefore the search will be thorough and comprehensive."
The Andaman and Nicobar islands, India's easternmost territory, are located in the Bay of Bengal very close to the Burmese coast.
In June the US Navy tracked a North Korean cargo vessel, the Kang Nam 1. The ship, which was believed to be sailing towards Burma, suddenly turned back towards home.

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