Panama’s Foreign Minister, Fernando Nunez Fabrega, announced today that the government of North Korea has agreed to pay a $667
million thousand fine to free the sailors and the North Korean ship, Chong Chon Gang which has been detained since July of last year.
The fine, which was initally set at $1 million, was imposed by the Panama Canal Authority when the ship was found to be carrying “war materials” which are prohibited by United Nations (UN) resolutions. The fine will be paid next week according to a statement by Minister Fabrega.
Fabrega notes that 32 of the 35 crew will leave the country immediately, however the remaining crew members “must answer charges of ‘acting against collective security.'”