North Korea said the number of UN staff should be cut by the end of 2019 [File: Richard Drew/AP]

North Korea has told the United Nations to cut the number of international staff it deploys to Pyongyang, saying the organisation’s programmes have failed “due to the politicisation of UN assistance by hostile forces,” according to a letter seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

North Korea wants the number of international staff with the UN Development Programme cut from six to one or two, the World Health Organization from six to four and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to cut its 13 staff by one or two.

“UN supported programmes failed to bring the results as desired due to the politicisation of UN assistance by

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