UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for an urgent inquiry into all of the activities of UN funds and programmes around the world. It follows US claims that lax controls in the UN Development Programme (UNDP) may have led to millions of dollars being siphoned off by North Korea.
The UNDP is to stop payments to North Korea in dollars or euros, and only deal in the local currency, the won. The US fears money is being shifted into Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
The change in how North Korea receives UNDP payments will come into effect in March.
Critics of the UN within the US Congress and media have already been saying that the situation in North Korea amounts to yet another example of the abuses made possible by the lack of accountability within the UN system.
Ban Ki-Moon has pledged to restore the highest ethical standard to the UN.