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North Korea has more than 1,300 unpaid NYC parking tickets

People watch a TV screen showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Photo: Ahn Young-joon/AP

North Korea has racked up more 1,300 New York City parking tickets totaling more than $156,000 since the 1990s, according to NBC's New York affiliate.

Jong Jo, secretary of North Korea's UN mission told NBC: "It's not true...Whenever we have a ticket, we pay. Because, you know, if we have three tickets the city does not allow us to renew their permission."

NBC discovered that a number of countries have accumulated more than $16 million in unpaid tickets since the 90s:

  • China: $398,736
  • Syria: $362, 550
  • Iran: $184, 987
  • Russia: $104, 231

How this happened: A 2002 memorandum of understanding (MOU) led to a "dramatic decrease" in parking abuse, and a total of $679,000 in foreign nations' parking violations since the MOU compared to the millions incurred before it. However, Mayor de Blasio said tickets prior to the MOU aren't forgiven, and "diplomatic delegations must still pay their debt."