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North Korea's Parking Debt Among Hefty Fines Owed To New York By Foreign Delegations

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Here is another difficulty in the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea - parking tickets. While North Korea does not have an embassy in the U.S., it does have a mission to the United Nations on the East Side of Manhattan. That means cars with diplomatic plates carrying passengers with diplomatic immunity.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Chris Glorioso with WNBC New York did a little digging, and...

CHRIS GLORIOSO: We tallied up North Korea's parking debt and found this country owes about $156,000 to the city of New York.

CHANG: And North Korea is not alone with all those parking tickets. The WNBC team found New York is owed more than $16 million in back fines from foreign delegations.

MCEVERS: Now, much of that debt happened before 2002 when the city came to terms with the State Department on parking rules. Glorioso says enforcement is still tricky.

GLORIOSO: It's a very fine line the State Department has to walk when it comes to yanking someone's diplomatic license plate over what some would consider relatively minor parking issues.

MCEVERS: But he's quick to add, people who live in New York do not see the issue of parking as minor. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.