US lawmakers investigate UN agency for dealings with N. Korea
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- A U.S. House committee said Monday that it will launch a probe into allegations that a U.N. agency has had illicit transactions with North Korea and Iran.
The World Intellectual Property Organization, based in Geneva, has come under scrutiny for a technology-supply project with the two nations, both under U.N. sanctions.
The 185-member body, which promotes the use and development of intellectual property, has provided North Korea with desktop computers, servers, printers and firewalls, according to media reports. It has also shipped information-technology equipment to Iran.
"The revelation that a U.N. agency has been supplying the brutal regimes in Iran and North Korea with sensitive technology is deeply disturbing, and must be thoroughly investigated," Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said in a statement. She is the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"Providing these thugs with sensitive technology has the potential to enable their dangerous agendas. This serious offense cannot go overlooked or unpunished," she added.
The WIPO admits to its support program for North Korea and Iran, but denies that its activities are in violation of U.N. sanctions.
U.S. government officials also said they are reviewing relevant documents to shed light on the allegations.