U.S. Offers North Korea Flood Assistance, Considering Food Aid Separately
“The United States has offered North Korea up to $900,000 in emergency flood assistance but has made no decision yet on a broader request for humanitarian food aid for the isolated country, the State Department said on Thursday,” Reuters reports. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland “said the flood assistance would not include food, and was considered separately from a standing appeal by North Korea for food aid to offset bad harvests that a U.N. report said earlier this year had left millions hungry,” according to the news agency (Quinn, 8/18).
“The communist-led country perennially suffers food shortages, and heavy rain can be catastrophic due to poor drainage, deforestation and dilapidated infrastructure. North Korea has said harvests probably will be hurt this year because of extensive damage to farmland,” the Associated Press writes (Pennington, 8/18). A State Department statement said the U.S. “supports emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of North Korea in accordance with international standards for monitoring” and “separate from political and security concerns” (8/18).