UNDP wraps up operations in N. Korea: report


The U.N. Development Program (UNDP) has completed the process of wrapping up all of its operations in North Korea, a Washington-based radio station reported Tuesday.

At the request of North Korea, the UNDP’s two remaining staff members are supposed to leave Pyongyang on May 3.

But the pullout will have no influence on the ongoing external audit of all U.N. operations in North Korea, which began in March amid U.S. allegations that U.N. aid money was being diverted to the North’s regime, David Morrison, spokesman for the UNDP, said in an interview with Radio Free Asia.

The agency suspended operations on March 1 because North Korea failed to meet conditions set by its executive board following suspicions that the aid money might be diverted for illicit purposes, including development of nuclear weapons. It withdrew seven of its nine international staff in mid-March.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ordered an external audit of all U.N. operations in North Korea which began on March 12.

The audit is being made of the related documents and the UNDP made sure that inspectors get all the copies needed for the audit, the spokesman said. Currently, the deputy resident representative and the operations manager are the only UNDP officials in North Korea to support the independent external audit.

The UNDP’s office equipment and materials will be turned over to North Korea, another UNDP official said.


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