N. Korea says Cuba arms seized on ship part of legitimate deal

North Korea's foreign ministry said late Wednesday that Cuban arms seized from a Pyongyang-flagged ship in Panama's waters were part of a legitimate deal and demanded the immediate release of the ship, state media reported.

"This cargo is nothing but ageing weapons which are to be sent back to Cuba after overhauling them according to a legitimate contract," the Korea Central News Agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying, adding: "The Panamanian authorities should take a step to let the apprehended crewmen and ship leave without delay."

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