Home / NEWS / North Korea accuses US authorities of ‘mugging’ at New York City airport | US news

North Korea accuses US authorities of ‘mugging’ at New York City airport | US news

North Korea accused US authorities on Sunday of “mugging” its diplomats at John F Kennedy airport in New York, forcibly confiscating a diplomatic package which it said raised questions about the city as the seat of the United Nations.

The claim came amid diplomatic tensions after North Korea released American student Otto Warmbier, whose parents said he was in a coma after being held by the north for 17 months.

Warmbier, 22, who arrived in the US on Tuesday, is stable but “shows no sign of understanding language, responding to verbal commands or awareness of his surrounding”, a doctor at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said.

A foreign ministry spokesman said a delegation from North Korea returning from a UN conference on the rights of persons with disabilities “was literally mugged” at JFK in “an illegal and heinous act of provocation”.

“Diplomats of a sovereign state are being robbed of a diplomatic package in the middle of New York where the headquarters of the United Nations is located and that serves as the venue for international meetings including the United Nations General Assembly,” the spokesman said.

“This clearly shows that the US is a felonious and lawless gangster state,” the spokesman said in comments carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.

“The international community needs to seriously reconsider whether or not New York, where such an outrageous mugging is rampant, is fit to serve as the venue for international meetings.”

The state department and White House had no immediate comment.

US student released by North Korea has ‘severe’ neurological injury

KCNA said the incident took place on 16 June when more than 20 officials who claimed to be from the US Department of Homeland Security and police “made a violent assault like gangsters to take away the diplomatic package from the diplomats”.

The diplomats were in possession of a valid diplomatic courier certificate, KCNA said.

The UN security council has imposed sanctions against North Korea for the reclusive state’s nuclear and ballistic missile activities.

North Korea, which is a member state of the US, has rejected the resolutions as infringements of its right to self defense and space exploration.

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