North Korea slams U.S., Mexico for cargo ship seized in 2014

By Elizabeth Shim

SEOUL, July 6 (UPI) -- Mexico's confiscation of a North Korean cargo ship is angering Pyongyang.

North Korea called the seizure of the 6,700-ton Mu Du Bong, which has been detained since 2014, an unfair infringement of legitimate property, according to state-controlled news agency KCNA.


"The unique rationale for the detainment of the Mu Du Bong lies with the United Nations Security Council resolutions...these resolutions are a violation of the U.N.'s Charter and other treaties, and there is no legal basis for the violation," the North Korean statement read, according to News 1.

Pyongyang also condemned the United States for its "hostile" North Korea policy and cited Washington's measures as the cause of the seizure of the North Korean "civilian cargo ship."

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North Korea has been under heavier sanctions since March when the U.N. Security Council unanimously passed embargoes that would prevent the country from acquiring material that could go toward building weapons of mass destruction.

In its statement on Wednesday, North Korea said "members" of sanctioned enterprises are experiencing "psychological and socioeconomic losses" due to the sanctions, and the embargoes are threatening the survival of North Korean households.

"We will calculate the amount of losses incurred due to the U.S.-led U.N. sanctions and request compensation," Pyongyang added.


In April, a Mexican official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the government intends to keep the Mu Du Bong grounded.

The 6,700-ton cargo ship had left from a Cuban port in July 2014 before it was stranded on the reef nine miles from Tuxpan.

Mexico had detained the ship's personnel because the two countries were in disagreement over the ownership of the Mu Du Bong.

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Mexico had said the ship belonged to North Korea's Ocean Maritime Management, a firm blacklisted by the U.N.'s North Korea sanctions committee for engaging in illicit arms trades in the past.

The North Korean crew was released in 2015.

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