North Korea is demanding the release of one of its cargo ships that ran ashore in Mexico. Mexico says it is detaining the ship because it broke sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council. The North Korean ambassador said that his country would "take necessary measures" to retrieve the ship, and also partially blamed the U.S.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the ship known as the Mu Du Bong ran ashore in July last year, damaging about an acre of coral reefs off the shore.
An Myong Hun, North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, is now calling for the ship to be released, according to CNN. He claims North Korea paid the $770,000 bond required by the Mexican government, and now sees no reason to keep the vessel in lock-down.
"Mu Du Bong is a peaceful, merchant ship and it has not shipped any items prohibited by international laws or regulations. And we have already paid full compensation to Mexican authorities according to its domestic laws."Mexico, on the other hand, defended its actions, saying they are acting in accordance with the United Nations. The ship is managed by North Korea's Ocean Maritime Management company, which is currently on a black-list of sanctioned companies from the "Hermit Kingdom."
The Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations said in a statement, "Because the company has avoided the sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council, the Mexican government is acting on the basis of its international obligations as a responsible U.N. member state."
The New York Times reports that the Ocean Maritime Management got on the blacklist after authorities in Panama found illegal weapons, including two MiG fighter jets, explosives, and anti-aircraft systems, underneath thousands of sugar bags on a separate ship called the Chong Chon Gang.
After the incident, the company renamed 13 out of 14 of its ship in an attempt to skirt the blacklist, according to Yahoo! News.
A U.N. panel claims that the evidence against the Mu Du Bong cargo ship is "overwhelming" and that Mexico's government has been very cooperative with the investigation.
Nevertheless, North Korea insists that the Mu Du Bong is not owned by Ocean Maritime Management, and that Mexico is violating the human rights of the vessel's crew by detaining them. They added that the United States was the real force behind the detention.
Mexico and U.N. answered back, saying the crew members have freedom of movement and are currently staying in a hotel in Tuxpan, near where the ship is anchored.
Likewise, a U.S. diplomat responded by saying, "as much as North Korea wants to make this about the United States, this is the determination of the 1718 Panel of Experts."
Whatever North Korea's "necessary measures" are, it seems like making a legal case for the cargo ship with Mexico is not particularly effective.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]