North Korea has reportedly asked the United Nations (UN) to reduce the number of the international staff it deploys in the country by the end of the year due to the failure of the world body’s programs.
“UN-supported programs failed to bring the results as desired due to the politicization of UN assistance by hostile forces,” Kim Chang Min, the secretary general for North Korea’s National Coordinating Committee for the UN, said in a letter addressed to the world body and seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
The letter said Pyongyang wanted the number of the international staff with the UN Development Programme to be reduced to one or two from six, with the World Health Organization to four from six, and with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to one or two from 13.
Kim wrote the number of the international staff with the World Food Programme had be cut “according to the amount of food aid to be provided” once a plan for 2019 to 2021 is agreed upon.
There is no need for a humanitarian aid coordination officer, Kim said, adding that UN aid officials could instead “visit as and when required.”
North Korea, currently under multiple rounds of harsh sanctions spearheaded by the United Stats — including at the UN — over its nuclear and missile programs, put a unilateral halt to its missile and nuclear tests shortly before a diplomatic thaw began between Pyongyang and Seoul in early 2018.
The US refuses to lift any of the sanctions, though. Washington is generally believed to have major influence over the world body.
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