The U.S. will not resume food aid to North Korea unless there is a guarantee that the food will be distributed properly among North Koreans who need it. U.S. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Wednesday, “We currently have no plans to provide additional food to North Korea. Any additional food aid would have to have assurances that it would be appropriately used.”
“We remain very concerned about the well-being of the North Korean people, but we are very concerned because we need to have adequate program management in place, monitoring and access provisions, and we don’t have that right now,” he added.
Kelly said North Korea rejected U.S. food aid in March, expressing regret that Pyongyang threw out all NGO food monitors by the end of March.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme said there has been no single donation for the food aid program for the North since its nuclear test in May, and the program has been downsized to one-third of the original plan.
A survey finds that most North Korean people are not aware of the fact that their nation is receiving food aid from other countries.
The survey was conducted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics last November on 300 North Korean escapees living in South Korea.
According to the survey, 56 percent of the respondents did not know Pyongyang was getting outside provisions.
Of the surveyed who said they did know of the outside assistance, nearly 97 percent said they believe the aid was directed to the government and military officials. Only one-point-six percent said they believed the food went to the general public.
US is playing hard ball!