North Korean departure leaves five detained in Thailand

A cargo plane loaded with heavy weapons left Pyongyang, North Korea and had not a care in the world … until the crew needed to land for more fuel at Don Mueang airport in Thailand. This emergency stop, according to Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Suthep Thaungsuban, led to an inspection which unveiled missiles, firearms and other implements of mayhem and destruction — 40 tons in all. Apparently, there were plenty of rocket-propelled grenades on board.

According to AFP, Suthep said, “They declared that the goods on board the flight were oil drilling equipment but when we examined we found it was all weaponry.” Four passengers from Kazakhstan and one from Belarus have been detained.

Captain Montol Suchookhorn, a spokesman for the Thai Air Force, explained, “According to my information, the flight originated from North Korea. It was a cargo flight that requested to land at the civilian side of the airport.”

Prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was careful to note that this incident doesn’t have an impact on the country’s internal security: “This is a joint collaboration of intelligence. We received a tip-off.”

Don Mueang airport hasn’t closed over this incident.

[Photo by yeowatzup via Flickr]