The US has been branded a "lawless and felonious state" by North Korea after its officials were supposedly "literally mugged" by police in New York's JFK airport.
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.
"That said, considering the entire North Korean national budget is less than the NYPD's alone, I'm not sure they're in a position to volunteer their hosting services" to the United Nations, he added.
North Korea said its envoys were confronted by more than 20 cops and Homeland Security officers who used "physical violence" to snatch the package even though the diplomats had "a valid diplomatic courier certificate". It called the incident a "planned and organized provocation".
"The U.S. should reflect on its reckless act and be fully aware of the grave consequences to follow", the spokesman told KCNA.
The ministry also asked the world to "seriously reconsider" NY as a venue for major global events and demanded Washington provide an explanation for infringing upon its sovereignty.
The spokesman, who was not named as per usual KCNA practice, said North Korea "regards this mugging by the USA as an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty" of its country, and demanded an explanation and an apology.
The official statement warned of "grave consequences" and concluded by demanding an apology from the U.S. government.
Last week, North Korea returned United States university student Otto Warmbier to his family in a coma, more than a year after he was sentenced to 15 years' hard labour for stealing a propaganda item.
Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security have commented on the claims. However, Warmbier, who was healthy at the time of his arrest came back a completely different man and had suffered extensive brain damage during his imprisonment in North Korea. Warmbier was arrested back in January 2016 after he overstayed in North Korea - being there on a tourist visa.
Mr. Warmbier was arrested as he was attempting to leave Pyongyang that year, charged with committing "hostile acts" against the regime after stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel.
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