03/06/2007, 00.00
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UN Development Programme halts work in North

There was no other choice according to the United Nations since the regime was appropriating funds destined for the population. Decision can be reversed if current situation changes.

Seoul (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The UN Development Programme has suspended operations in North Korea following US claims that its funds were being diverted to prop up the communist regime.

The programme said yesterday on its website: "As of March 1, the UNDP has no choice but to suspend its operations in North Korea as the necessary conditions set out by the executive board on January 25 have not been met."

The agency's measures include ending all payments in hard currency to Pyongyang and discontinuing sub-contracting of local staff via government recruitment as of March 1, it said.

The agency said its position "could be reconsidered if these circumstances change".

In January, Mark Wallace, the US delegate to the UN, charged that North Korea had, since 1998 and with the complicity of the programme, "systematically perverted" the aid programme "for the benefit of the Kim Jong-il regime, rather than the people of North Korea".


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