NK machine guns captured in smuggling ships in Arabian Sea

SEOUL, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) — North Korean-manufactured machines guns were seized by a French frigate in an inspection of small Iranian ships on their way to Somalia in the Arabian Sea in March, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday, citing a U.N. report.

According to the report recently released by the Monitoring Group of the U.N. Security Council’s Somalia sanctions committee, six North Korean Type 73 general purpose machine guns were cached on the ships, which were smuggling various kinds of weapons, Voice of America said.

Iran purchased the Type 73s from the North between 1970 and 1980 and used them during the Iran-Iraq war from 1980 to 1988, the report pointed out.

The French inspection is believed to have scuttled an Iranian attempt to hand over the North Korean and other illegal weapons to militants in the African nation, the broadcaster said.