North Korea says ship seizure violates spirit of U.S. talks

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 14, 2019 - Duration: 01:15s

North Korea says ship seizure violates spirit of U.S. talks

North Korea says the seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States was an illegal act that violated the spirit of a summit pact between the two countries' leaders, and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.

Michelle Hennessy reports.

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North Korea says ship seizure violates spirit of U.S. talks

North Korea lashed out at the U.S. on Tuesday (May 14), for what it calls the illegal seizure of one of its cargo ships.

An unnamed ministry spokesman warned the U.S. was badly mistaken if it believed it can control the North with force.

The statement was carried by North Korea's official news agency and added - quote: "This act is an extension of the U.S.-style calculation of trying to hold us in submission with its 'maximum pressure'." It also said it was a 'total denial' of the spirit of last year's summit in Singapore.

That was the first, unprecedented summit between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

The two leaders pledged to establish new relations - and return peace to the Korean peninsula.

But - the U.S. said last week it had seized one of that nation's largest cargo ships for illicitly exporting North Korean coal - a scheme that violated international sanctions.

The move added to tensions sparked by two recent North Korea weapons tests - the first such launches since 2017.

Observers say they're an apparent protest by Kim Jong Un after Trump rejected his calls for sanctions relief at their second summit in February - which collapsed abruptly without a deal.

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