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A prominent international legal scholar has joined up Congressional investigators to demand a probe of an incident in which an obscure branch of the United Nations shipped sophisticated computers and other high-tech equipment to North Korea and violated U.N.'s own sanctions against that regime.
John Yoo, who was a national security expert during the first Bush administration, and is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and specializes in international and U.S. constitutional law, has demanded for an "independent, external commission" to investigate the incident.
Yoo said the equipment shipped by the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), "would allow North Korea to carry out simulations necessary to design highly sophisticated nuclear warheads...without the need for testing." According to Fox News, the under-the-radar shipments of Hewlett-Packard computers and servers by WIPO shipments took place in late 2011 or early 2012, and were financed through the Beijing offices of the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP).
Yoo claimed that the equipment transfer gives the regime of fledgling leader Kim Jong Un a significant boost in hardware and software "that could quite conceivably contribute" to North Korea's nuclear-related programs. He stressed the WIPO shipments, which took place in late 2011 or early 2012, were in violation of even stiffer U.S. sanctions that ban all computer exports to North Korea due to its role as proliferators of nuclear weapons technology and ballistic missile know-how.
In December 2011, WIPO published its first World Intellectual Property Report on the Changing Face of Innovation, the first such report of the new Office of the Chief Economist. WIPO is also a co-publisher of the Global Innovation Index. In April 2012, Fox News first reported the shipment of computers by WIPO to North Korea and Iran, in an alleged violation of U.S. and U.N. sanctions, triggering an investigation by the U.S. State Department. WIPO reacted by stating that the shipment did not violate the U.N. sanctions against North Korea, and that this was "part of WIPO’s standard technical assistance program to developing countries",[