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North Korea wants UN staff cut, but UN says they’re vital

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea says it wants the U.N. international staff in the country reduced by the end of the year “due to the politicization of U.N. assistance by hostile forces” — but the U.N. says its current “light footprint” is vital.

Kim Chang Min is secretary general of North Korea’s National Coordinating Committee and says in a letter to the U.N. resident coordinator there that in recent years “U.N. supported programs failed to bring the results as desired due to the politicization of U.N. assistance by hostile forces.”

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that “we’re in dialogue at this point on the issue of cutting international aid staff.” He said U.N. and international organizations reached over 2 million people with humanitarian aid in 2018, including food, nutrition and health projects.

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