May 14, 2019 12:56 UTC
  • North Korea calls US seizure of ship ‘robbery,’ demands immediate return

North Korea has censured the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States as an illegal move that violates the spirit of a summit deal between the leaders of the two countries in June 2018, demanding the ship’s immediate release.

In a Tuesday statement, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry also rejected United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against North Korea — which the US cited to impound the vessel — as an infringement on its sovereignty.

“The United States carried out an illegal act of robbery by seizing our cargo ship citing UN Security Council sanctions resolutions,” an unnamed ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“This act is an extension of the US-style calculation of trying to hold us in submission with its ‘maximum pressure’ and is a total denial of the fundamental spirit of the June 12 DPRK-US joint statement,” the spokesman said, using an abbreviation for North Korea’s official name.

He said Washington “must realize the consequence of its gangster-like actions... and must return our ship without delay.”

The US Justice Department declared last Thursday that it had confiscated a North Korean cargo ship called the Wise Honest after it was first seized by Indonesian authorities, alleging that it had been engaged in of what they called an illicit shipments of coal in violation of US-led and UNSC economic sanctions against Pyongyang.