North Korea was caught attempting to export weapons to Syria but they were confiscated by the Turkish government this spring, the Sankei Shimbun reported on Tuesday.
The paper said the U.S. military obtained information this spring that the North would attempt to send arms to Syria on a Libyan cargo ship and tracked it in collaboration with other countries.
Turkish security forces searched the ship in a port near Istanbul on April 4-5 and confiscated 1,400 rifles, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, 2,600 heavy machine gun magazines, and gas masks for chemical attacks, the daily claimed.
The cargo ship's port of departure is not known yet. U.S. intelligence speculates that the weapons would have been unloaded in Turkey and transported to Syria overland, it added.
It said the same Libyan ship was involved in an earlier case when the North tried to export arms to Syria via Lebanon in September last year.