No doubt the latest news will soon hit President Donald Trump’s Twittersphere with the hashtag #NoKo. The story has hit the media about North Korea having 1,300 unpaid parking tickets in New York City, adding up to around $156,000, many of which date back to before 2002. While Trump and Kim Jong-Un are threatening to annihilate each other with their nuclear weapons, New York City wants its dues. According to NBC New York, the unpaid tickets date back to the Giuliani era.

North Korea denies it owes New York City money

However, according to Jong Jo, secretary of the North Korea UN mission, the story can’t be true. He told an NBC New York reporter that whenever their vehicles receive a ticket, they immediately pay it.

He backed his statement by saying if their diplomatic staff gets three parking tickets or more in New York City, they lose their driving and parking permissions for their diplomatic vehicles in the city.

That statement is partially true. It seems back in 2002 a memorandum of understanding was released between the U.S. State Department and New York City to state that if a diplomatic vehicle gets three or more traffic tickets, local officials can deny that vehicle a diplomatic parking decal. However, the majority of the parking tickets received by North Korean diplomats were issued prior to 2002 and the said memorandum of understanding.

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The world owes New York City $16 million in unpaid fines

It seems North Korea isn’t the only country whose diplomats haven’t been paying their fines. According to a report by RT News, Russia apparently owes some $104,231, China is in debt for almost $400,000, Iran has parking tickets adding up to $184,987 and Syria owes $362,550.

That isn’t all that is owing, however, as NBC New York uncovered the fact that since the 1990s, there is, in total, around $16 million owed by diplomats in unpaid fines to the city. According to RT, as an added note, since diplomatic relations have cooled between the U.S. and Russia, the regular removal of parking privileges is becoming a regular thing.

While the U.S. State Department since 2002 has the right to revoke driving privileges of diplomats for parking violations, a spokesman only partially commented on the current North Korean spat. The spokesman did say they take matters relating to driving violations very seriously, regardless of the driver’s diplomatic immunity rights. They want to ensure foreign diplomats face consequences for failing to comply with motor vehicle laws in the U.S.