North Korea: Impounded Ship Is ‘Biggest Issue’ in US Ties

Ambassador warns ship could affect future developments in diplomacy

In comments Wednesday, North Korean Ambassador Han Tae Song has warned that North Korea considers the US seizure of one of their cargo ships to be the “biggest issue” informing bilateral relations between the two nations.

Han called the US seizure of the cargo ship a “wanton violation of international law,” and called for its immediate return. He added that the fate of the ship would affect future developments between the two nations.

The US captured the Wise Honest earlier this month, accusing the ship of having exported coal from North Korea in violation of US and UN sanctions. The US took the ship to American Samoa.

Though allegations North Korea is trading in violation of the bans are not uncommon or even unlikely, it is virtually unheard of for the US to just capture some other country’s cargo ship like this, and has North Korean officials saying they believe the US is trying to pressure them through the use of force.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of