NKorea opens doors to US food aid proposal

North Korea has reportedly expressed willingness to engage in a deal that could see resumption of the U.S. food aid program in the country.

The reclusive country released Jan. 11 a statement saying it could suspend its uranium-enrichment program if the United States shows “willingness to establish confidence” by increasing the amount of food aid it plans to offer, among other measures, the Washington Post reports.

Suspension of North Korea’s nuclear activities was part of a food aid deal the United States proposed to the Asian country in December. The United States was expected to offer 20,000 metric tons of nutritional aid if the program was stopped. But an announcement on the aid package was deferred following the death of Kim Jong Il.

North Korea’s strongly worded statement, which also reportedly criticized the United States for linking its food aid offer to nuclear-related demands, marks the first time the Asian country reached out to the United States since Kim’s death. It was also the first time North Korea publicly commented on ongoing food aid talks with the donor country.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.