The UN Development Program ships, at outrageous expense, anti-American books for North Korean neogiators to read. Claudia Rosett reports in the New York Sun:
[T]he U.N. Development Program was ordering up books critical of America and President Bush for North Korean arms experts in Pyongyang, and accepted a shipment on March 14, almost two weeks after the UNDP announced that it was suspending operations in North Korea.
The UNDP-sponsored reading list for North Korean officialdom includes such titles as "Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy," "The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End," and "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration." [....]
According to the packing list, the books were assembled and forwarded to Pyongyang by the Beijing office of a Belgian-based company, Elsingor S.A., which describes itself on its Web site as a provider of products for "green energy." For its services, including book purchases and freight fees, Elsingor charged the UNDP $2,978.78, or roughly $100 a book. A search on Amazon finds the same list of books can be purchased online, new, for a total of $826.24 - which suggests that freight fees to get this 40-lb. carton of books into North Korea (for the use of the North Korean government, no less), came to more than $2,000.
Reached by phone in Beijing, an Elsingor office worker with a French accent, who refused to give his full name, said his company does a lot of business with foreigners working in North Korea, including shipments for the European Union and fertilizer deals with the United Nations's World Food Program. He says the book shipment was part of "helping all those guys."
Yet another set of questions involves why the books were shipped out on March 9, and accepted March 14, after the UNDP had announced it was suspending operations in Pyongyang?