U.N. says letter sent by N. Korea over U.S. seizure of ship under review
SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations is studying a letter sent by North Korea over the United States' seizure of one of its cargo ships on suspicions of transferring coal and machinery in violation of sanctions imposed on Pyongyang.
Following the seizure of the 17,061-ton Wise Honest, North Korea's top envoy to the world body, Kim Song, sent the letter to Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres on Friday, seeking "urgent measures" by the U.N. chief against the U.S. decision.
Confirming receipt of the letter, Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the U.N. chief, said the letter has been "distributed and circulated as requested as a document of the Security Council."
"We are, obviously, studying the letter as ... it relates to the issue of sanctions on the DPRK and actions taken in the implementation of those sanctions," Dujarric told a press briefing in New York on Monday (local time), referring to the North by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Yet, Dujarric added it is an issue to be dealt with by the member states.
"The questions relating to possible sanctions evasion and Member States' implementation of Security Council resolutions are a matter for Member States to address," he said.
According to the North's official Korean Central News Agency, Ambassador Kim said U.S. "dispossession" of the ship is an "unlawful and outrageous act" that violates international laws.
"Unilateral sanctions, such as the anti-DPRK 'Sanctions Act' based on the U.S. domestic law which the U.S. has employed as a ground of dispossession of the ship, are defined as an illegal act going against the U.N. Charter and the international laws," Kim was quoted as saying.
The ambassador is set to hold a briefing on the seizure of the ship at the U.N. headquarters Tuesday.
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