North Korea stepped up its campaign on Tuesday for the United States to return a seized cargo ship belonging to Pyongyang, warning Washington that it had violated its sovereignty, Reuters reports.
“The United States should deliberate and think over the consequences its outrageous act might have on the future developments. Also the United States must return our cargo ship without delay,” Kim Song, North Korea’s UN Ambassador was quoted as saying at a news conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
“We regard it as part of our territory where our sovereignty is fully exercised.”
The envoy demanded the immediate return of the ship, which the United States said earlier this month it had seized over accusations it was used for coal shipments in violation of US and UN sanctions.
Kim said the seizure of the ship, known as the “Wise Honest,” violated the spirit of a statement issued by US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un after their first meeting in Singapore in June 2018.
The two leaders had pledged to build new ties between their countries and work toward North Korea’s denuclearization.
The US Justice Department earlier this month said the North Korean ship was seized and impounded to American Samoa. The vessel was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.
“We will carefully watch every move of the United States,” said Pyongyang’s UN envoy Kim.
The ambassador wrote to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday to ask him to take “urgent measures” over the issue.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that the letter had been received.
“We’re taking a look at it. The issue of sanctions, the implementation of sanctions, the interpretation of sanctions, is really a matter for the UN Security Council to decide and to discuss,” he said.
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