Address ship seizure by ‘gangster’ US: Pyongyang tells UN chief

Address ship seizure by ‘gangster’ US: Pyongyang tells UN chief

PYONGYANG: North Korea urged the United Nations (UN) secretary general Antonio Guterres to deal with the ‘illegal’ seizure of one of its cargo ships by the US.

“This act of dispossession clearly indicates that the US is a gangster country that does not care about international laws,” North Korean ambassador to the UN said in a letter sent to Guterres on Friday.

Pyongyang’s protest to the UN over the seizure comes amid mounting tensions since a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, aimed at bringing about the denuclearisation of the North, broke down in Hanoi in February.

The letter also called for ‘urgent measures’ by Guterres and claimed that Washington infringed the North’s sovereignty and violated UN charters.

With the denuclearisation talks stalled, North Korea went ahead with more weapons tests this month. The tests were seen as a protest by Kim after Trump rejected his calls for sanctions relief at the Hanoi summit.

North Korea has said the ship seizure violated the spirit of the summit and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.

The US Justice Department said the North Korean cargo ship, known as the ‘Wise Honest’, was seized and impounded to American Samoa. The vessel was accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of sanctions and was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.