State Department: No Decision Yet on Food Aid for NKorea

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks through a binocular to North Korea at the Observation Point Ouellette in South Korea. The United States is not yet ready to make a decision whether or not it would resume food aid to the Asian country. Photo by: U.S. State Department

The United States is not yet “prepared” to make a decision on whether or not it would resume providing food aid to North Korea, according to the spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, who explained the U.S. government is still evaluating the food situation in the Asian country and food-related needs elsewhere.

U.S. and North Korean officials touched on humanitarian issues in a recent meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, but there were no detailed discussions about food aid and U.S. concerns about it, including aid monitoring.

“We are continuing to evaluate the need, working with our partners, working with international organizations,” Nuland said at the State Department press briefing on Tuesday (Oct. 25). “As I said, this issue did come up; the humanitarian basket of issues did come up. We’ll be evaluating what we heard, but we are not prepared to make a decision at the moment.”

Nuland also rejected criticisms by some non-governmental organization officials that the United States is holding back on providing food aid due to the political reasons despite reports of dire humanitarian needs in North Korea. She emphasized the United States does not “connect the issue of humanitarian assistance to other issues of policy, politics, our relationship with North Korea.”

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    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.