North Korea: US officials seized diplomatic package at JFK

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 19, 2017

North Korea says the U.S. authorities have "literally mugged" its diplomatic delegation in NY, as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang soar.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) condemned on Sunday the US security services for seizing a diplomatic package from its delegation at an airport in NY on Friday.

It also said the purported Friday incident "clearly shows that the U.S. is a felonious and lawless gangster state".

"Diplomats of a sovereign state are being robbed of a diplomatic package in the middle of NY where the headquarters of the United Nations is located and that serves as the venue for worldwide meetings including the United Nations General Assembly", the spokesman said through the state's official KCNA news agency. While U.S. officials have not revealed what the package contained, the North Koreans claim that they had a valid diplomatic courier certificate for carrying the package.

The North Korean foreign ministry strongly condemned the actions of the U.S. authorities as "an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and a malicious provocation". US doctors said they found no trace of botulism.

It added that the ministry also asked the global community to "seriously reconsider" NY as a venue for major worldwide events.

The White House and the US State Department had issued no immediate comment on the North's statement.

A North Korean spokesperson said a delegate "was literally mugged" at JFK on Friday while trying to return home from a United Nations conference.

The incident could add fuel to the already tense relations between the two countries in the wake of a series of ballistic missile launches by the North and the comatose return home of an American college student after 17 months of detention in the communist nation. However, Warmbier, who was healthy at the time of his arrest came back a completely different man and had suffered extensive brain damage during his imprisonment in North Korea. So, in format terms, the United States and North Korea are at war, with their political relations staying strained. Warmbier was arrested back in January 2016 after he overstayed in North Korea - being there on a tourist visa.

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