The government will discuss granting a transit permit to the South Korean Defence Ministry on Wednesday in a move that likely concerns Patriot missiles found on the Thor Liberty vessel, which has been docked at Kotka Harbour since before Christmas.
The government’s agenda for Wednesday includes a proposal from the Finnish Ministry of Defence to grant a transit permit to “the Republic of Korea’s Defence Acquisition Program Administration.” The agenda was published on Tuesday, but no additional information was given.
The Defence Acquisition Program Administration is a department under South Korea’s Ministry of National Defence.
The Thor Liberty vessel, en route to South Korea from Germany, was for a time impounded at the Kotka Harbour due to irregularities in the packing of its cargo of explosives. It later came to light that the ship was also carrying missiles. A transit permit is required to transport missiles through Finland. The authorities said that, though the ship had no permit at the time, it could be attained later.
The German Defence Ministry confirmed to YLE before Christmas that Germany had sold the impounded missiles to South Korea.
The Finnish Customs impounded the missiles and reloaded the cargo of explosives over the Christmas holiday. The vessel’s captain and first mate have been questioned on suspicion of illegal export of military equipment, and banned from travelling.
At the end of December, police said that investigations into the legal status of the explosives were still ongoing.