The United States called off plans to send food aid to North Korea after the impoverished state’s defiant rocket launch, as an aid group feared more than two million children would go hungry.
The United States had already suspended the plan to deliver 240,000 metric tons of assistance aimed at children and pregnant women as North Korea prepared what the regime called an unsuccessful bid to put a satellite in orbit.
President Barack Obama’s administration, which had fine-tuned the aid package for months before announcing it February 29, said it was “impossible”to move forward after what US officials considered a flopped missile test.
Under the February 29 deal aimed at easing longstanding tensions, the United States agreed to deliver aid under supervision in the authoritarian state and North Korea said it would freeze its nuclear and missile tests.
Asked if the food aid was off indefinitely, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that the United States no longer “can frankly trust the North Koreans that this will end up in appropriate hands.”
Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are believed to have died in a famine in the 1990s. UN agencies estimated in November after a visit to the North that three million people would need food aid in 2012.
Mercy Corps, one of five US non-governmental groups that would have delivered the aid, said the assistance would have reached more than two million North Korean children and tens of thousands of pregnant women.
Like we said! Dumbass!