The United States has suspended food aid to North Korea because Pyongyang violated a deal to refrain from missile launches and cannot be trusted to deliver the assistance to those who need it, a Pentagon official said Wednesday.
A planned rocket launch next month by North Korea “reflects their lack of desire to follow through on their international commitments, and so we’ve been forced to suspend our activities to provide nutritional assistance to North Korea,” Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific affairs, told lawmakers.
In light of North Korea’s actions, the United States had “no confidence” that it was possible to “to ensure that the food assistance goes to the starving people and not the regime elite,” Lavoy said before the House Armed Services Committee.
Under a deal reached last month, North Korea agreed to a partial nuclear freeze and a missile test moratorium in return for US food aid.
The United States previously warned that any launch would jeopardize the deal and the promised food assistance, but Lavoy’s comments at the hearing marked a tougher stance and made clear plans to deliver aid had already been scrapped.
North Korea has scheduled what it calls a satellite launch between April 12-16 and the regime insists it is for scientific purposes.
The United States and other countries say it would in fact be a long-range missile test banned under UN resolutions.
Once again, the people of North Korea are the victims!