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DPRK ship crew uncooperative: India official
Updated: 2009-08-09 19:23

PORT BLAIR, India: The crew of a ship of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) carrying a cargo of sugar that was detained off the Andaman and Nicobar islands, was not cooperating with Indian investigators, an official said on Sunday.

DPRK ship crew uncooperative: India official

The ship MV Musan belonging to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is seen anchored near Port Blair, the capital of India's Andaman and Nicobar islands, August 9, 2009. [Agencies] DPRK ship crew uncooperative: India official 

The MV Musen dropped anchor off Hut Bay island on Wednesday without permission. When a coastguard vessel approached, the ship tried to escape, and was detained after a more than six-hour chase.

"We are not getting any cooperation from their side," said an official of the Joint Investigating Team, who asked not to be identified as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

UN member states are authorised to inspect the DPRK's sea, air and land cargo, and seize and destroy any goods transported in violation of a Security Council resolution in June following the Pyongyang's nuclear tests.

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Indian investigators were awaiting permission from the foreign ministry to berth the ship at a port so that the 39 crew members could be brought ashore for interrogation and the ship completely inspected, the Indian official said.

Investigators were also awaiting the arrival of a Korean interpreter on Sunday, said Superintendent of Police Ashok Chand.

"They are a little hesitant to share information," he said.

"No arrests have been made till now, that would be decided later," he said. It wasn't clear yet where the ship was headed.

Officials from the Indian army, navy and the Intelligence are conducting the investigation.

The DPRK's sales of missiles and other weapons materials to tense or unstable parts of the world have long been a major concern of the United States and its allies.

Pyongyang, which has walked out of six-party talks aimed at reining in its nuclear weapons programme, fired a barrage of short-range missiles in launch tests in May and exploded a nuclear device on May 25, resulting in tougher UN sanctions that it has ignored.