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N. Korea, US Collide over Impounded Cargo Ship amid Sanctions Dispute

Hot Issues of the Week2019-05-26


"The United States has committed an unlawful and outrageous act of dispossessing our cargo ship Wise Honest... "

During his news conference at the UN headquarters on Tuesday, North Korean Ambassador Kim Song urged the U.S. to return the vessel.

"We are condemning in strongest terms this act of dispossessing of our cargo ship."

Shortly after North Korea's launch of short-range missiles on May 9th, the U.S. Justice Department announced it had impounded the "Wise Honest." The North's second largest cargo ship had already been detained by Indonesia since April of last year for transporting coal to China, Russia and other countries in violation of international sanctions.

"The latest act of the United States constitutes an extension of the American miscalculation for putting pressure upon to us to kneel down by means of the maximum pressure. Also it is outright denier of the underlying spirit of June 12 DPRK-USA joint statement which committedly establishing new bilateral relations. Therefore the United States should deliberate and think over the consequence of its outrageous acts might have on the future developments. Also the United States must return our cargo ship without delay."

However, Washington is not budging from its position. In response to media inquiries regarding Kim's argument, the U.S. State Department reaffirmed that the sanctions against North Korea will remain thoroughly in place by the UN Security Council members.

U.S. President Donald Trump held his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam in February. The summit collapsed without an agreement as the North wanted to see key U.S.-led UN sanctions lifted while the U.S. did not find the proposed denuclearization measures sufficient.

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