North Korea is claiming that U.S. officials forcibly seized a diplomatic package from one of their delegations at John F. Kennedy Airport.
The official Korean Central News Agency said diplomats were returning from a U.N. conference on rights of persons with disabilities on Friday when the package was taken, calling it an "illegal and heinous act of provocation."
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesman told News 4 New York that the three individuals weren't accredited members of North Korea's U.N. Mission and had no diplomatic immunity.
The agency's officers seized multiple media items and packages from them.
"The reported aggression was initiated by the North Koreans. The individuals were released without further incident but subsequently refused to board their departing flight without the items that had been seized," said David Lapan, press secretary.
The incident comes days after American college student Otto Warmbier was returned to the U.S. in a coma after being imprisoned in North Korea.