North Korea blasted Homeland Security agents at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport for "literally mugging" a diplomatic delegation, although the U.S. claims the North Koreans in question were not protected by diplomatic immunity. Pyongyang accused the DHS officers of taking a diplomatic package away from a delegation that was visiting New York for a United Nations conference, but the three North Koreans did not hold diplomatic status, CNN reports.
"According to the U.S. State Department, the North Korean citizens were not accredited members of North Korea's Mission to the U.N. and had no entitlement to diplomatic immunity. The package in question had no diplomatic protection from inspection," said the Department of Homeland Security in a statement. "Multiple media items" and "packages" were seized in the confrontation.
"According to the 1961 Vienna Convention, diplomatic couriers 'shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention' and the diplomatic bags they carry may not be opened or detained," CNN writes. That being said, couriers are required to have the proper accreditation on them while traveling in order to prove their immunity.
North Korea slammed the U.S. agents for behaving like "gangsters," calling the confrontation "an illegal and heinous act of provocation."
"The U.S. should reflect on its reckless act and be fully aware of the grave consequences to follow," North Korea said.