Friday, July 10, 2020
Home Lead Story North Korea Blames US of 'Robbery' for Seizing Cargo Ship, Demands Immediate...

North Korea Blames US of ‘Robbery’ for Seizing Cargo Ship, Demands Immediate Return

Trump insisted he would not ease sanctions until North Korea agrees to abandon its entire nuclear weapons program

North Korea accused the United States of robbery Tuesday and demanded the immediate return of a cargo ship seized for allegedly violating international sanctions.

In a statement in the official Korean Central News Agency, North Korea’s foreign ministry warned of unspecified “consequences” in response to the U.S. seizure of the vessel.

“The U.S. should carefully deliberate what consequences will follow in the current situation derived by their robbery and promptly return our ship,” the Tuesday statement read.

The KCNA statement claimed the seizure violates the 2018 agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to improve bilateral relations.

The United States announced last week it had seized the Wise Honest, which was originally detained in April 2018 by Indonesian authorities.

The 17,000-ton vessel, North Korea’s second-largest cargo ship, had been used to export North Korean coal in violation of international sanctions, U.S. officials say. It is the first time that U.S. officials seized a North Korean vessel.

cargo ship
Undated photo released by the U.S. Justice Dept. on May 9, 2019 shows the North Korean cargo ship ‘Wise Honest’. VOA

The move further strained ties between North Korea and the United States, which appear to be re-entering a period of hostility after a year of nuclear talks.

In recent weeks, North Korea has resumed testing ballistic missiles after refraining from such launches for a year-and-a-half.

U.S. officials have shrugged off the three short-range missile tests, saying the door remains open for talks with the North.

At their first summit in June 2018, Trump and Kim vowed to improve relations and to work “toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

The talks broke down when a second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam in February failed to result in a deal.

At that summit, Kim offered to dismantle a key North Korean nuclear site in exchange for the United States easing sanctions that are hurting the North’s economy.

Trump insisted he would not ease sanctions until North Korea agrees to abandon its entire nuclear weapons program.

cargo ship
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un meet during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi, Feb. 28, 2019. VOA

The seizure of the Wise Honest is part of what U.S. officials have described as a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the North.

Under a series of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, North Korea is prohibited from a broad range of economic activities, including exports of materials such as coal.

North Korea has evaded the sanctions, in part by using dozens of ships such as the Wise Honest to conduct ship-to-ship transfers of raw materials.

When it was detained in 2018, the Wise Honest was carrying about 25,500 tons of coal — a load valued at around $3 million at the time.

ALSO READ: An Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple for Overcharging iPhone Apps

U.S. officials believe North Korea uses the money from coal sales to fund its weapons program.

The ship arrived this week at the port of Pago Pago in the U.S. territory of American Samoa. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,991FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,782FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Less Sleep Can Harm Your Child’s Mental Health

Dear parents, if you want your child to be mentally fit, Read on. Inadequate nighttime sleep alters several aspects of children's emotional health, warn...

Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet to Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk

Higher consumption of fruit, vegetables, and whole-grain foods are associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, say researchers. The findings, published in...

In Conversation with Pravesh Mallick

Pravesh Mallick is an Indian and Nepali composer, songwriter and playback singer who has worked in several movies and projects including 'Transparency: Pardarshita', 'Jai...

Home-schooling Tips During Coronavirus

Parenting could be hard during a pandemic, especially when your child's physical classes are on hold. If you are helping your child learn from...

Dealing with Muscle Pain During Covid

In times of COVID-19 and the lockdown, most people have been staying indoors and levels of activity have decreased significantly. Work from home has...

49% Indians Feel Chinese Firms Should be Allowed to Sell Products: Survey

A survey has found that around 49 per cent of its respondents feel that Chinese companies should be allowed to sell products in India,...

People Opting for Domestic Trips Post-Pandemic

By Siddhi Jain After a long stretch of staying-at-home, consumers are quick to show willingness to go out and travel again, albeit within driving distance...

eRaksha Competition 2020: Creating Cyber Awareness Among Youth

Online learning has become the need of the hour and the most viable resource that has come to the aid of children and their...

Recent Comments