Panamanian authorities on Tuesday were examining mysterious objects found aboard a ship headed from Cuba to North Korea, officials said.
The objects, discovered late Monday during an anti-drug inspection, appeared to have been hidden among a cargo of brown sugar, officials said.
Because it is pursuing nuclear weapons, North Korea is banned by the United Nations from importing and exporting most weapons.
Few details of the confrontation were available, but the ship’s North Korean crew of 35 resisted arrest, said Panama’s security minister, Jose Raul Mulino. He described it as “violent,” saying that the crew tried to sabotage the ship by cutting cables on the cranes that would be used to unload cargo.