A spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) gave the following answer to the question raised by the KCNA on July 18 as regards the fact that the U.S. made an apology and returned the diplomatic package to the DPRK which it had seized from a DPRK delegation in New York:

As reported, on June 16, the delegation of the DPRK which was en route home after attending the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was literally mugged at the John F. Kennedy International Airport by the U.S. authorities that forcibly took away a diplomatic package from the delegation in an illegal and heinous act of provocation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK termed this mugging by the U.S. an intolerable act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the DPRK and a malicious provocation, and condemned it in the strongest terms while strongly demanding an explanation and an official apology from the U.S. government.

At the meeting of the UN Committee on Relations with Host Country, convened at the request of the permanent mission of the DPRK to the UN, the Cyprian representative chairing the committee and other representatives from many countries attending the session including China, Russia, Cuba and Syria acknowledged the mugging of the diplomatic package as a grave infringement upon the sovereignty of a UN member state which can never be tolerated.

The U.S. Department of State made an official apology to the DPRK on behalf of the U.S. government acknowledging that its security officials concerned made a mistake and expressed its hope that the DPRK would understand that the mistake was due to the security officials being oversensitive amid the deteriorating security situation in the U.S.

The U.S. eventually returned the diplomatic package and all its contents to the DPRK.

The U.S. should learn a due lesson from the incident and never again commit such an act of infringing the sovereignty of other countries, in flagrant violation of the universally recognized international norms and regulations.