Greek authorities on Tuesday carried out searches on board a cargo ship that is suspected of transferring weapons from North Korea to Syria, according to a Reuters report.

"It's a French-owned, German-flagged ship with cargo from North Korea, probably sailing to Syria," a senior government official told Reuters.

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According to the report the official claimed "we have opened four containers so far and have found non-military material that could have a dual use."

An official with links to the operation said the Greek authorities had received information that the ship was carrying weapons and missiles.

The official, who also refused to be named, confirmed that as this point no missiles or weapons had been found.

The UN Security Council agreed last June to ban the export of all weapons by North Korea.

The expanded sanctions were aimed at cutting off its arms sales, a vital export estimated to earn it more than $1 billion a year.

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