North Korea has written a letter to the United Nations asking it to cut the number of international staff it has posted in the country by the end of the year, the Spokesman for UN Secretary General confirmed on Thursday.

“We have, indeed, received a letter from DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] authorities and we’re in dialogue with the North Korean Government on the issue of cutting international aid staff in DPRK,” continued Stephane Dujarric.

“I think it bears restating that the UN and international NGOs [non‑governmental organizations] reached over 2 million people with humanitarian aid in 2018, including food security, nutrition and health projects.”

“Current UN operations already have a light footprint on the ground, and continued capacity at current levels is vital for ensuring continued UN support for critical food security, water, nutrition programming, as well as mobilizing resources,” said Dujarric.

“U.N. supported programs failed to bring the results as desired due to the politicization of U.N. assistance by hostile forces,” Kim Chang Min, secretary general for North Korea’s National Coordinating Committee for the United Nations, wrote on August 21st letter to the top UN’s Country Representative.

There was also no need for a humanitarian aid coordination officer, Kim contiued in his letter, adding that United Nations aid officials could instead “visit as and when required.”

The UN Spokesman also addressed the rumors that the North Korean Foreign Minister, who’s traveled to New York for the past three years for the UN General Assembly, is not attending this September meetings.

“We were informed about the switch in the lead of North Korean delegation, in terms of the person who will represent the DPRK in the official meetings at the UN. It’s their sovereign decision. The Secretary‑General obviously looks forward to a dialogue with the representative coming from Pyongyang,” conluded Stephane Dujarric.


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