Tags: U.N. | Study | Promotes | Closer | North | Korean | Ties

U.N. Study Promotes Closer North Korean Ties

Friday, 01 June 2007 12:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS -- A new study by the United Nations Department of Political Affairs says the U.N. "should focus on sustaining, and where possible, intensifying and expanding engagement with the DPRK [North Korea]."

That was the "assessment" made in a study prepared for review by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, himself a former South Korean foreign minister.

A copy of the confidential document was obtained by NewsMax.

The timing of the DPA "study" is curious coming as an internal audit on U.N. aid funds and their distribution inside North Korea is reaching its final stages.

Charges of corruption inside the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) and its North Korean operation forced Ban Ki-moon to order the internal audit of the operation. More than $30 million in aid money is beleived to have disappeared.

The study also surfaces as Washington and Pyongyang are at odds on how the North Koreans will dismantle their nuclear weapons in order to receive pledges of economic and energy aid.

The study dated April 2007 says the "Secretary-general should consider upgrading U.N. efforts in the region to a more energetic, catalytic and constructive level, given the resumption of the still fragile six party talks."

Those talks, which have included the United States, Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea are designed to offer the North Koreans "economic" incentives to end its nuclear program.

It was in October 2006 that North Korea publicly detonated its first nuclear device.

Among the other "recommendations" made in the study:

The Secretary-general should consider assigning a senior Secretariat official as Korean peninsula coordinator, according to the report: "While U.N. entities concerned will implement their respective mandates, the coordinator will provide focused support to U.N. system's work."

The study concedes that U.N. policy in North Korea has "undergone a dramatic upheaval caused by the DPRK's escalatory moves which included a series of missile tests last July and the nuclear test last October."

Ban Ki-moon is presented with several options:

1. Maintain the status-quo. (This would simply maintain a marginalized role, in essence a stand-still).

2. Become a "catalyst" ("This would provide Ban with the appointment of a Korean peninsula coordinator who would provide him focused advice on a coherent action by the United Nations system towards the region. It should raise the effectiveness of the U.N.'s work in the country by putting it in a proper foundation, thus making it more credible for aid donors and promising to be of better help to the North Korean people with their humanitarian and development needs").

or

3. "Launching a (unilateral) Korean peninsula initiative" — This the study explains: "The Secretary-general has an option of launching an initiative of his own which would directly invoke the authority of his office and aim at (a) establishing dialog with the DPRK at the political level (b) joining the six-party talks process's as an observer, if not a participant (c) putting forward the secretary-general's own ideas and proposals to move the process forward (d) personally engaging the donor community with advocacy and resource mobilization for the U.N.'s activities in the DPRK and (e) using the U.N. as an initial platform for a future regional forum to discuss peace and security in Northeast Asia."

The U.N. admits the last option is the "boldest" and "least realistic" given that "the governments concerned have not shown active interest in a high-profile initiative by the secretary-general."

However, while the major powers at the U.N. may have shown little "official" interest in the DPA "study," the fact that they allowed it to be completed and submitted for "high-level" review means that the organization's perm 5 (the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China) are in reality keeping their "options open," say diplomats.

The United States mission to the U.N. was not available for comment.

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UNITED NATIONS -- A new study by the United Nations Department of Political Affairs says the U.N. "should focus on sustaining, and where possible, intensifying and expanding engagement with the DPRK [North Korea]." That was the "assessment" made in a study prepared for...
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Friday, 01 June 2007 12:00 AM
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