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North Korea Purchased Real Estates with UNDP Funds

Posted June. 12, 2007 17:09,   


Suspicions have been raised that millions of dollars offered by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to develop North Korea and relieve its poverty were spent to acquire overseas real estate and purchase equipment that can be used for military purposes.

The Washington Post reported the above Saturday, citing a private report delivered to Congress by the U.S. State Department after an in-house investigation.

The report was released just after the UNDP had conducted an inspection for the first half of this year, as it was reported that a large amount of the UNDP’s funds had been presented to the North without transparency. The UNDP had reached a primary conclusion that “although it was noticed that North Korea had violated some regulations, including hiring employees appointed by themselves, it was inevitable based on the international practices.”

The UNDP has provided $3 million per annum on average over the past 10 years, totaling about $30 million.

According to the newspaper report, the UNDP delivered financial aid amounting to over $8 million for North Korea on behalf of other United Nations organizations, apart from its own funds.

State Department investigation results showed that the North sent $2.8 million out of the total amount to cover housing expenses for its official residences located in New York and western countries. The State Department wrote in the report, “The money was used to buy the official residences in France, U.K., and Canada.”

The State Department also found out that the UNDP had bought the North computers, Global Position System (GPS) equipment, and a mass spectrometer for isotope tests. The State Department underlined that such equipment could be converted for military purposes.

It was also reported that $2.7 million of the UNDP fund had flowed into Dancheon Commercial Bank (Changkwang Credit Bank), against which the White House applied sanctions on account of the bank’s involvement in ballistic missile and parts transactions in 2005, under the name of “product and equipment procurement.”