Sen. Menendez gives statement on detained North Korean ship

Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement on Wednesday regarding the recent seizure of a North Korean ship.

"The shipment of weapons systems by the Cuban government to the government of North Korea is a grave violation of international treaties," Menendez said. "Weapons transfers from one communist regime to another hidden under sacks of sugar are not accidental occurrences, and reinforces the necessity that Cuba remain on the State Department's list of countries that sponsor state terrorism."

This statement comes after Panama officials seized a North Korean ship on Monday as it was headed into the Panama Canal. Reports indicate that missile equipment was being held in shipments of brown sugar from Cuba, according to Reuters.

The contraband equipment, which would go against the current sanctions levied against North Korea, was identified as SNR-75 'Fan Song' fire control radar for the SA-2 family of surface-to-air missiles, Reuters reports.

"In addition to possible violations of Panamanian law, the shipment almost certainly violated United Nations Security Council sanctions on shipments of weapons to North Korea and as such, I call on the Obama Administration to submit this case to the U.N. Security Council for review," Menendez said.