North Korea denies U.S. allegations it misused U.N. development funds


North Korea on Thursday rejected a U.S. allegation that it misused funds from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), accusing Washington of conducting a smear campaign to increase pressure on Pyongyang.

The United Nations announced this week that an audit will be conducted of the UNDP operations in North Korea after Washington alleged it had funneled immense cash payments to Pyongyang.

The UNDP aid projects in North Korea “have been carried out strictly in conformity with the U.N. regulations and in a transparent way,” a spokesman for Pyongyang’s Foreign Ministry said in an answer to a question by the Korean Central News Agency, the North’s official media outlet.

U.S. deputy ambassador Mark Wallace alleged last week that the UNDP’s operation in the North had been run “in blatant violation of U.N. rules” for years and that millions of dollars ended up in the hands of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The UNDP denied the U.S. allegation, while U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a South Korean, announced an external audit of U.N. programs on Monday.

“Nevertheless, the United States is kicking up another anti-DPRK racket over not much aid funds of the UNDP from the outset of the year to meet its dirty political aims,” the spokesman said.

North Korea said it will continue to develop its cooperative relations with the UNDP.

“However, it will not allow any attempt to politicize the aid project nor accept conditional or unjust aid at all. The U.S. will be wholly accountable for all consequences to be entailed by its ongoing reckless campaign against the DPRK,” the unidentified spokesman said.


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