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WFP Director Says Optimism High In N. Korea, No Signs Of Starvation But Food Aid Needed

New York Times: Aid Agency Chief Reports ‘Tremendous Sense of Optimism’ in North Korea
“North Korean officials have a ‘tremendous sense of optimism’ about their country’s recent turn toward diplomacy and have promised to work more openly with humanitarian aid groups, according to the head of the World Food Programme, who visited the country last week. David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations agency, also said that while malnutrition continued to be a problem in the impoverished North, he saw no evidence during his four-day trip of the kind of extreme food shortages that killed more than two million people there in the 1990s…” (Choe, 5/15).

VOA News: U.N. Prepares to Boost Food Aid to North Korea
“The head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday said the North Korean leadership is hopeful that following a possible denuclearization deal, the international community will increase humanitarian aid for millions of people in the country who are living in poverty and suffering from malnutrition. … Humanitarian assistance has been exempted from the economic sanctions, but Beasley said import restrictions have made it more complicated to bring in aid, and made potential donors reluctant to contribute for fear of inadvertently violating sanctions…” (Padden, 5/15).