North Korea has demanded the United Nations take “urgent measures” to help return a cargo ship taken by the United States, calling the seizure a “heinous” act.
Washington announced last week it had taken possession of the North Korean-registered bulk carrier M/V Wise Honest — a year after it was detained in Indonesia — citing sanctions-violating activities.
The seizure came amid heightened tensions after Pyongyang conducted weapons drills involving short-range missiles in recent weeks, and with nuclear talks deadlocked since the collapse of the Hanoi summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un earlier this year.
In a letter sent Friday to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Kim Song — Pyongyang’s permanent representative at the UN — said the incident was “an unlawful and outrageous act”, according to North Korea’s state news agency KCNA.
“This act of dispossession has clearly indicated that the United States is indeed a gangster country that does not care at all about international laws,” the letter said.
The North Korean representative asked Guterres to “take urgent measures as a way of contributing to the stability of the Korean peninsula and proving the impartiality of the UN”.
Earlier this week, Pyongyang had slammed the seizure as an “outright denial” of the spirit of a statement signed by Kim and Trump at their first summit in Singapore last year.
North Korea is sanctioned under multiple UN Security Council resolutions for its nuclear and missile programmes, and lifting of some of the measures was a key demand from Pyongyang at the second Trump-Kim summit in February that ultimately broke down without a deal.
Trump aides desperately try to downplay ‘order’ to US companies to leave China
Donald Trump's top aides on Sunday downplayed the idea of US companies being forced to abandon China any time soon, as an edict from the president ordering businesses to start looking for alternatives has been met with skepticism.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House economics advisor Larry Kudlow took to the airwaves from France, where Trump is participating in the G7 summit, to smooth out tensions in the business community prompted by Trump's Friday tweet.
Trump said he has "no plan now" to bring US companies in line, and his aides quickly reinforced the message.
Trump sparks confusion at G7 before doubling down on China tariffs
President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday on his hard line against China after sowing confusion with statements that he might be willing to soften a trade war G7 partners fear threatens the world economy.
At the G7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump announced a major trade deal with Japan and promised more of the same with Britain, once Brexit is done.
But the positives were overshadowed by a mix-up over his apparent expression of regret for the latest escalation in the US-China dispute.
"I have second thoughts about everything," he conceded to reporters when asked if he regretted his decision on Friday to ramp up tariffs on all Chinese imports, worth some $550 billion, in retaliation for Beijing's earlier hike of levies on US goods.
Persecuted Christians eye long-sought freedom in Sudan
Sudan's Christians suffered decades of persecution under the regime of Islamist general Omar al-Bashir. Now they hope his downfall will give the religious freedom they have long prayed for.
Deep within the maze of dusty alleys that honeycomb Omdurman, Khartoum's sprawling twin city, Yousef Zamgila's church is not visible from the street.
It is hidden in the courtyard of a friend's home and consists of a few iron benches, a pulpit and crosses hastily painted on pillars holding a corrugated roof.
"The previous centre got destroyed because we didn't have the right papers. They always refused... So we use the land of our neighbours," says the Lutheran reverend.