North Korea claimed a group of three delegates to the United Nations was mugged in a “reckless act” Friday night at JFK International Airport in New York. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state-run media wing of North Korea, released a statement Sunday detailing the incident.

“At the airport, a group of more than 20 including those who claimed to be from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the police officers made a violent assault like gangsters to take away the diplomatic package from the (North Korean) diplomats who were in possession of a valid diplomatic courier certificate,” read the statement, crediting the quotes to an unnamed spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Ri Yong-ho.

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DHS said in a statement that three individuals were not diplomats,  but that DHS did stop three people from North Korea and seize media items and packages.

“According to the U.S. State Department, the North Korean citizens were not accredited members of North Korea's Mission to the UN and had no entitlement to diplomatic immunity. The package in question had no diplomatic protection from inspection,” said DHS spokesperson David Lapan in an e-mailed statement to International Business Times Monday. 

Lapan said that he was unable to provide details at this time about why the items were taken.

“The reported aggression was initiated by the North Koreans,” said Lapan. “The individuals were released without further incident but subsequently refused to board their departing flight without the items that had been seized.”

The North Korean statement contained the usual bluster and threats of KCNA statements which called the act a “literal mugging,” and said that New York is rampant with outrageous muggings.

“This clearly shows that the U.S. is a felonious and lawless gangster state,” the statement read. “The U.S. owes the (North Korea) a good explanation of its act of infringement upon the sovereignty of the (North Korea) and an official apology on behalf of the U.S. government. If the U.S. fails to give its due response to our demand which is all too reasonable and fair enough, it will be totally responsible for all the consequences to be entailed.”

The statement comes amid heightened tension between the U.S. and North Korea. An American prisoner of North Korea, 22-year-old Otto Warmbier, was released back to the U.S. in a coma with a severe brain damage. He was held for 17 months.

Warmbier was a tourist in North Korea when he was detained for allegedly defacing a propaganda poster. He was sentenced in an hour long trial to 15 years hard labor. North Korea claims that Warmbier went into a coma after contracting botulism and was given a sleeping pill. Warmbier’s medical team at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said there was no evidence of botulism.

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North Korea still holds three American prisoners.

North Korea has also held a series of missile tests this year. According to CNN last week, they have fired 16 missiles in 10 tests this year.