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North Korea demands explanations from US over seizure of diplomatic package

June 18, 21:02 UTC+3 PYONGYANG

The US authorities "forcibly took away a diplomatic package from the delegation" at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport

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PYONGYANG, June 18. /TASS/. North Korea has demanded the United States provide official explanations over an incident at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport on June 16 when a diplomatic package was seized from a North Korean delegation.

According to a statement of the North Korean foreign ministry spokesman released on Sunday, the US authorities "forcibly took away a diplomatic package from the delegation" that was on its way back from the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The spokesman described the incident as "an illegal and heinous act of provocation." The North Korean diplomats, who had "a valid diplomatic courier certificate," offered "vigorous resistance but the group of about 20 police officers and "those who claimed to be from the US Department of Homeland Security" used "physical violence" to grab the diplomatic package.

The North Korean foreign ministry strongly condemned the actions of the US authorities as "an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and a malicious provocation."

"The US owes the DPRK a good explanation of its act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and an official apology on behalf of the U.S. government," the ministry said. "If the U.S. fails to give its due response to our demand which is all too reasonable and fair enough, it will be totally responsible for all the consequences to be entailed."

The United States and North Korea have no diplomatic relations. Washington’s interests in Pyongyang are represented by the Sweden embassy. The armed conflict in the Korean Peninsula of 1950-1953 ended in the signing of a truce agreement. So, in format terms, the United States and North Korea are at war, with their political relations staying strained.

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