US Vice-President praises Panama cooperation

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PANAMA CITY (AP) - U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden says Panama has made a contribution to international security by seizing a ship carrying weapons from Cuba to North Korea.

Biden is visiting Panama for talks with President Ricardo Martinelli.

Panamanian authorities seized the ship in July. Inspectors also found two Cuban fighter jets and missile parts amid a load of sugar.

A preliminary report by United Nations experts determined that the seized ship violated U.N. sanctions that bar the supplying of weapons to North Korea.

Biden said Tuesday "Panama did what we have hoped for in other parts of the world. It dared to act when others would have retreated."

The vice president says "this is what responsible countries do."

He's also praised Panama's $5.2 billion canal expansion project.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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