N. Korea slams U.N. decision to suspend program

SEOUL, South Korea, AP

North Korea criticized the U.N. on Tuesday for suspending its development program in the country.

A North Korean Foreign Ministry statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the decision by the U.N. Development Program to halt its North Korea program was discriminatory.

North Korea “does not care about whether it receives small assistance from the UNDP or not, but it will not tolerate even a bit any foolish attempt to hurt its dignity,” the North Korean spokesman said, according to KCNA.

The UNDP suspended its North Korea program last week after the United States alleged that U.N. aid money was being diverted to “illicit purposes,” including developing nuclear weapons.

The U.S. allegations are “sheer lies” aimed to “tarnish the international image” of North Korea, the North Korean spokesman said.

“It is the firm stand of (North Korea) not to receive any politically motivated assistance seeking a sinister aim in the future, too,” he added.

The spokesman claimed that North Korea has demanded an explicit explanation from the UNDP for halting its operations there, but that the agency “has kept mum … deliberately avoiding its answer.”

In response to the U.S. allegations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ordered an external audit of all U.N. operations in North Korea. The audit began on Monday.