North Korea demanded Tuesday that the United States release a cargo ship seized
on suspicions of violating U.N. sanctions.
A spokesperson for the North's foreign ministry made the demand in a statement carried
by the Korean Central News Agency, blasting the seizure as a violation of the spirit of
the June 12 joint declaration the two countries signed after the first-ever summit of their
leaders last year.
"The U.S. should think seriously about what consequences its brigandish act will bring
about and return our ship without delay," the spokesperson said.
The U.S. Justice Department said last week that the 17,061-ton Wise Honest, one of the North's largest bulk carriers, has been seized for shipping coal and machinery in violation of U.S. and U.N. sanctions on the communist nation.
The department said the North was found to be concealing the origin of the Wise Honest to export tons of high-grade coal to foreign buyers and import heavy machinery to
the North. (Yonhap)