North Korea Accuses US of 'Mugging' Diplomats at JFK Airport

A group of 20 officials "using physical violence" confiscated the package from the delegates, according to the Ministry, with the North Koreans described as being "literally mugged".

North Korea has accused the U.S. authorities of "literally mugging" its diplomats at a NY airport.

But a spokesperson for the US Department of Homeland Security said: "The package in question had no diplomatic protection from inspection".

The diplomats resisted, but the US officials grabbed the diplomatic bag "using physical violence", said the North, calling it an "illegal and heinous act of provocation". He says that according to the U.S. State Department, the three weren't accredited members of North Korea's UN Mission and had no diplomatic immunity.

Warmbier, 22, who arrived in the United States 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.

The North Koreans were in NY to attend a three-day United Nations conference on rights of people with disabilities.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK regards this mugging by the U.S.as an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and a malicious provocation, and strongly condemns it", KCNA stated, per Bloomberg.


"DHS seized multiple media items and packages from the individuals, at which time the North Koreans attempted to physically retrieve the items but were prevented from doing so by DHS officers". The U.S. Department of State said it was looking into the situation but offered no immediate comment.

The incident also comes just days after North Korea released United States detainee Otto Warmbier after 17 months in detention.

North Korea did not detail the contents of the package.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he isn't seeking regime change in North Korea and hasn't ruled out negotiations to curb North Korea's rapidly advancing nuclear and ballistic-missile programs.

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.

Tomas Ojea Quintana, the UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in North Korea, criticized North Korea's treatment of Warmbier, saying in a statement the onus is on Pyongyang to "clarify the causes and circumstances of the release".

North Korea said he had contracted botulism before slipping into a coma, but U.S. doctors said there was no evidence of that.

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