CNN BREAKING NEWS
Spanish Ship Intercepts North Korean Vessel in Indian Ocean
Aired December 11, 2002 - 06:51 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: By now you know that a Spanish ship intercepted a North Korean vessel in the Indian Ocean. On board, they found a number of SCUD missiles hidden under bags and bags of cement. Spain's defense minister just spoke a short time ago.
Our own Al Goodman got an exclusive interview with him and has some new information to share with us -- Al.
AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Carol, the defense minister just wrapping up a news conference and just after that telling CNN that the ship is now, the suspect ship with the SCUD missiles aboard is now under U.S. coalition command in international waters. The defense minister saying that that ship is now heading for Diego Garcia for the military bases there, where U.S. troops are stationed. He thinks it will take up to five days for the ship to reach there.
It was turned over this day, Wednesday, he said, in the past hour by the Spanish frigate commander, who had effectively interceded and taken over this ship two days ago, on Monday. The inspection that was carried out on Monday and also on Tuesday turned up 15 SCUD missiles. The defense minister here saying and a number of other explosives that they're now investigating. This operation started last Thursday when U.S. intelligence tipped off the Spanish frigate that was the lead vessel in a multinational fleet patrolling those waters that this ship was on the way.
And over the weekend, they hatched the plan. The ship was intercepted on Monday morning when it would not obey the Spanish frigate's orders to stop and the ship was taken by force with an armed Spanish helicopter crew coming onto the ship, doing the initial inspection on Monday, calling -- and after finding some SCUD missiles underneath bags of cement, calling for U.S. assistance on Tuesday -- Carol.
COSTELLO: All right, Al Goodman, thanks for bringing us up to date.
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