Tuesday, January 17, 2006

US Criticizes North Korea for Halting UN Food Aid

The United States says it is being forced to suspend food aid to North Korea because of Pyongyang's decision to stop allowing the United Nations to distribute the food.

State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said U.S. policy requires that international relief workers be able to monitor the distribution of its food.

That safeguard disappeared when the U.N. World Food Program (WFP) stops distributing food in North Korea at the end of December 2005.

Mr. Ereli said it is a common practice for North Korea to "ignore the needs of its people" and "let them starve for inexplicable reasons."

North Korea announced last August that it no longer wanted U.N. food aid because it said domestic food production had improved, and the WFP should close all its food-processing plants in North Korea.

VOA News

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