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US to resume food aid to N.Korea under 5 principles

Posted May. 23, 2011 03:49,   


The U.S. government will provide food aid to North Korea under five principles governing the timing, scale, purpose, items and methods of its aid through consultation with South Korea, diplomatic sources said Sunday.

Washington’s principles reportedly include the timing of aid after summer; no massive volume of aid over a short period of time; sending aid to social groups in crisis due to chronic food shortages rather than the food crisis; selection of items to send as aid to prevent North Korea from stockpiling and converting the assistance into military use; and a monitoring system stronger than the one the North allowed the World Food Program to use.

A source said, “By choosing to provide aid after May or June, or the time the World Food Program claimed that food in the North will be depleted, Washington will show that it does not accept results of the U.N. food agency’s inspection results as they are.”

U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Friday that Robert King, U.S. special envoy for North Korean human rights, will lead a food assessment team to visit North Korea May 24-28.

The delegation also includes experts including the U.S. Agency for International Development`s deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Jon Brause. Members will reportedly stay in the communist country through early next month to conduct onsite inspections.

Brause, who served as the chief of North Korean food aid program in 2008, reportedly told aid groups for North Korea in the South last year, “If North Korea requests resumption of food aid, Washington is willing to provide it at anytime.”

The European Union is also reportedly planning to send an assessment team to North Korea to check the food situation there.

A South Korean government source said Sunday, “The U.S. won`t send a food assessment team to North Korea without the intent to provide food aid.”

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