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Detained For Months In Panama, North Korean Ship Heads To Cuba

FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2013 file photo, the North Korean-flagged cargo ship Chong Chon Gang sits in Sherman Bay near Colon City, Panama. Panama Canal officials say on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 that the seized ship is free to leave because the owner has paid a fine. Three of the ship's operators still face charges, while 32 crew members are free to return to North Korea. The vessel was detained in July 2013 when a search revealed it was carrying weapons from Cuba. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, File)

FILE - In this Nov. 27, 2013 file photo, the North Korean-flagged cargo ship Chong Chon Gang sits in Sherman Bay near Colon City, Panama. Panama Canal officials say on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 that the seized ship is free to leave because the owner has paid a fine. Three of the ship's operators still face charges, while 32 crew members are free to return to North Korea. The vessel was detained in July 2013 when a search revealed it was carrying weapons from Cuba. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, File)

A North Korean ship that was detained in July carrying undeclared arms after leaving Cuba has left Panama City and is headed back to the Caribbean island.

Panama's Foreign Ministry said the ship left Saturday morning with 32 of its original 35 crew members on board. The ship's captain and another two of the crew remain in Panama and will be prosecuted for arms trafficking.

The ship was detained while preparing to cross the Panama Canal to the Pacific. Authorities found missile parts, radar system components and other weapon pieces hidden amid bags of sugar. Those parts and the sugar remain under Panamanian control.

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