"The U.N. Security Council resolutions the United States mentioned as one of the reasons for robbing our trade vessel equate to a violent infringement of the sovereignty of our country and we have been entirely rejecting them," the KCNA statement said. "The United States should carefully consider what kind of consequences their daylight robbery could bring to the political situation and should send back our vessel without hesitation."
Before the United States seized the cargo ship, the 581-foot vessel, named the Wise Honest, had first been detained by Indonesia in April 2018 while transporting a large amount of coal. It was brought Saturday to American Samoa, where it will undergo inspections.
North Korea is banned from exporting coal under U.N. sanctions toughened in 2017 to punish increasingly powerful weapons tests that year. Experts believe coal and other mineral exports help finance the North's weapons industry.