United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has asked the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to help facilitate an external audit of the world body’s funds and programmes there.
“Your continued cooperation would be much appreciated to allow the audit to be completed in a timely manner,” Mr. Ban said in a letter dated 28 February and made public today which was addressed to Pak Gil Yon, the Permanent Representative of the DRPK to the UN.
In the letter, Mr. Ban recalled that earlier this year, he initiated an evaluation of UN programmes in several countries, of which the DPRK was one. On further review, it was decided further work was necessary to ensure that UN operations in the country were in line with the world body’s rules and regulations.
On 9 February, he added, the Board of Auditors – an external body serving the UN – was formally requested to carry out a special audit of UN activities in the DPRK.
In mid-January, upon hearing press reports that funds from the UN Development Programme (UNDP), which conducts multi-million dollar operations in the DPRK, were channelled improperly to the Government, Mr. Ban called for an external review of all UN activities, ranging from staff hiring to hard currency, in the country from 1998 to the present.
The Secretary-General’s letter was in response to concerns raised by the DPRK, conveyed in correspondence dated 13 February, that the audit was “in line with the hostile manoeuvres of the United States,” given that the external review was announced at approximately the same time as the US contended that the DPRK “might have used the UNDP aid funds for the development of nuclear weapons.”
The DPRK said that it denies the “allegations of the United States” and called them “sheer fiction aimed at politicizing international aid.”