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N.Korea's spat with UN

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By John Burton

It might seem perverse for a country where 40 percent of the population faces the risk of going hungry that North Korea should request a reduction in the number of United Nations humanitarian aid workers there by the end of 2019.

But the intention of Pyongyang's rather unusual request might be to underscore its unhappiness over what is sees as the U.N.'s slow progress in approving sanctions exemptions for the supply of materials related to humanitarian relief.

North Korea has preferred the U.N. as the main deliverer of humanitarian aid since it is considered more neutral than other groups, and one in which Pyongyang is represented. U.N. agencies are involved in food, nutrition, water and health projects and reach more than two million people in North Korea.

Earlier this month, Kim Chang-min, head of North Korea's National Coordinating Committee for the U.N., said in a letter to the top U.N. official in Pyongyang, Tapan Mishra, that his government valued its collaboration........

© The Korea Times