North Korea: US officials seized diplomatic package at JFK

US NORTH KOREA

North Korea: US officials seized diplomatic package at JFK

North Korea has accused USA officials of assaulting a delegation at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport by forcibly seizing a diplomatic package they were carrying.

United States officials "forcibly took away a diplomatic package from the delegation by an illegal and heinous act of provocation" on Friday, the foreign ministry spokesperson said in comments carried by the state-run KCNA news agency, the Daily News reported.

According to KNCA, the officials were in possession of a valid diplomatic courier certificate, which means they should have been able to pass through security unhindered.

Neither the White House or DHS has commented on the alleged incident.

The rogue nation threatened unspecified "grave consequences" if the USA failed to provide "a good explanation of its act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and an official apology on behalf of the United States government".

But US Rep. Pete King (R-LI) dismissed North Korea's claims.

KCNA also called into question the suitability of NY as the home of the UN.

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"The global community needs to seriously reconsider whether or not NY, where such an outrageous mugging is rampant, is fit to serve as the venue for worldwide meetings", the ministry claimed.

The alleged airport incident marks the latest event in an increasingly strained relationship between the USA and North Korea.

Tensions have also been raised after North Korea held a succession of missile tests in the Sea of Japan.

Continuing military cooperation with South Korea has angered the North, leading to warnings of nuclear war.

The incident comes days after 22-year-old American college student Otto Warmbier was returned to his home state of OH in a coma with severe brain damage after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months.

North Korea claimed Mr Warmbier's coma was caused by botulism contracted after his trial previous year and a sleeping pill given to him as treatment.

Pyongyang said Mr Warmbier's coma was caused by botulism and a sleeping pill he took after his trial previous year.

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