Finland to Release Seized Missiles

Posted January 4th, 2012 at 1:10 pm (UTC-5)
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Finland has granted the release of 69 Patriot missiles seized last month from a ship on the way to South Korea from Germany.

The Finnish government made the announcement Wednesday, but it was not clear when the missiles would be released.

The ship Thor Liberty docked in the Finnish port of Kotka in December with a cargo of 69 Patriot surface-to-air missiles and at least 150 tons of explosives.

Finnish officials discovered and confiscated the missiles and explosives during a search of the ship. Finnish officials said the vessel was headed for the Chinese port of Shanghai and that the cargo was impounded because of a lack of proper transit documents.

But a German Defense Ministry spokesman said the shipment came from the German military and was part of a legal sale destined for South Korea.

China has denied any involvement with the missile shipment.