North Korea has reportedly sent a letter to the United Nations criticizing the U.S. for holding one of its bulk carrier ships captive, and is arguing the issue should be dealt with by the international body.
Radio Free Asia reports that the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said on Monday that it received a letter from North Korea's permanent representative to the UN last week and that it is reviewing it.
The letter, as disclosed by the North's state media, argues the U.S. seizure of a North Korean vessel under "U.S. law" is an unlawful, outrageous act, and such unilateral U.S. sanctions go against the UN Charter and international law.
To this, the Office of the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary General reportedly said that, as requested, the letter has been circulated as an official document to the General Assembly and the Security Council.
It added that questions relating to possible sanctions evasion and member states' implementation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions concerning North Korea are matters for the member states to address.
This comes as the U.S. seized the vessel known as the "Wise Honest" earlier this month, as it filed a civil forfeiture complaint against the ship for allegedly violating U.S. and UN sanctions by illegally shipping coal from the North.
The ship was previously detained by Indonesia in April 2018, and was since moved by the U.S. to American Samoa.
It's the first time the U.S. has seized a North Korean cargo vessel for violating sanctions, and North Korea criticized the U.S. for its "gangster-like" move.
According to the UN, Kim Song, the North Korean Ambassador to the UN is to hold a press conference at the New York Headquarters, Tuesday morning local time, regarding the matter.
During the rare press conference, Kim is expected to reiterate the North's message that the move goes against the spirit of Sentosa Agreement, and the UN should take relevant steps.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.