UNDP Response to Fox News Report on DPRK

29 Sep 2010

As “Response to Fox News journalist George Russell following his repeated mischaracterization of UNDP’s operation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”

Dear George,

As Ronald Reagan once said: “here you again.” Every time you mention UNDP or the United Nations’ work in DPRK, you willfully mischaracterize the findings of both the report of the Senate’s Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations as well as the work done by the UN’s Independent Panel, led by Miklos Nemeth of Transparency International.
 
If your readers used you as their only source of information on UNDP’s work in the DPRK, they would believe that UNDP had indeed “funneled millions of dollars” to the country’s ruler and that  we had “transferred sensitive equipment with potential for terrorist use or for use in creating weapons of mass destruction.” As you well know, both the UN and Senate investigations looked specifically at those allegations and did not reach that conclusion.  On the contrary, your statement that, “A further outside investigation revealed that … UNDP routinely continued to hand over millions in hard currency to the Kim regime” is not supported by either Report.

It is true that both investigations pointed out a number of shortcomings in our operations in the DPRK and made several  recommendations for improvements in the management and oversight of our program. These recommendations were endorsed and have now been implemented by senior management.  Furthermore, in all of our operations in the DPRK we are very much aware of applicable Security Council resolutions. 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would post this response on the Fox News website and that in your future reporting about the United Nations’ humanitarian and development work in the DPRK you give your readers a more truthful description of the various reports into UNDP’s activities in that country. For their ease of reference you could include links to the reports in question.

Nemeth Report
http://www.undp.org/dprk/docs/EIIRP_Final_Report_31%20May.pdf
http://www.undp.org/dprk/docs/EIIRP_Final_Report_Page118_Corrected_6June2008.pdf

And the Senate’s report:
http://www.undp.org/dprk/docs/UNDP-senate-report.pdf

Sincerely,

Stéphane Dujarric
Director of Communications
UN Development Programme