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19 June 2017, 01:55 | Opal Carroll
North Korea has accused the USA authorities of "literally mugging" its diplomats at a NY airport.
The North's Foreign Ministry spokesman said a delegation of the North returning from a United Nations conference on the rights of persons with disabilities "was literally mugged" at the John F. Kennedy airport in "an illegal and heinous act of provocation".
A North Korean spokesperson said a delegate "was literally mugged" at JFK on Friday while trying to return home from a United Nations conference.
The spokesman described the incident as "an illegal and heinous act of provocation".
A North Korean foreign ministry spokesman told state news agency KCNA that its officials had been "robbed", branding the U.S. a "lawless gangster state".
"As the diplomats vigorously resisted, they grabbed the diplomatic package using physical violence and made off", the ministry was quoted as saying.
North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations Kim In Ryong at the U.N. headquarters in NY in May.
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The North Korean foreign ministry strongly condemned the actions of the USA authorities as "an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and a malicious provocation".
It added that the ministry also asked the global community to "seriously reconsider" NY as a venue for major worldwide events.
Tensions have also been raised after North Korea held a succession of missile tests in the Sea of Japan. The statement also insisted that the USA explain the reason behind their behavior towards North Korean diplomats, followed by an apology.
The accusation comes in the wake of Otto Warmbier, a US citizen, being freed from North Korea after being held captive for over a year.
Upon returning to the U.S., Mr. Warmbier was suffering from severe brain damage, indicating he may have been tortured while in North Korean custody.
Warmbier - who was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor for allegedly stealing a political poster from a restricted floor of a North Korean hotel - was sent home to OH with severe brain damage, which North Korea blamed on his contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill following his trial in March 2016.
"Whether or not the North Korean account is entirely accurate, their treatment of American student Otto Warmbier takes away North Korea's right to complain about anything", King said.
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