Saturday, January 20, 2007

U.S. says U.N. agency aided N. Korea

UNITED NATIONS - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded quickly to U.S. accusations that the U.N. development agency funneled millions of dollars in cash aid to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, calling on all U.N. funds and programs to conduct an urgent outside investigation into their operations.

Ban's decision to press for outside audits not only of the U.N. Development Program's activities in North Korea but of all U.N. programs indicated he was determined to avoid a repetition of the scandal over the U.N. oil-for-food program in Iraq which bubbled for months before former Secretary-General Kofi Annan agreed to an independent investigation.

In the North Korean case, U.S. officials questioned whether funds intended to help the country's impoverished people had been used for other activities including nuclear weapons development. The U.N. program, known as UNDP, said it has operated in North Korea since 1979 and no concerns have been raised about its funds being used for the North's nuclear arms program.

U.S. deputy ambassador Mark Wallace charged Friday that the U.N. agency operated "in blatant violation of U.N. rules" for years in North Korea. He demanded an immediate outside audit, focusing on concerns that Pyongyang converted development funds "to its own illicit purposes."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recommend this short movie mocking Kim Jong Il and his secret agent buying Hennessy XO wine from Chinese black market :=)