BIDEN Issues Statement on U.S.-North Korea Food Aid Announcement
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) applauded the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) announcement this morning that the United States will begin providing 500,000 tons of food aid to North Korea, beginning next month, over the next year. The aid will be delivered through U.S. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the United Nation's World Food Program.
Sen. Biden issued the following statement:
"The threat of severe famine in North Korea is real. In order to ensure that the food reaches those most in need, including children and nursing mothers, the United States has negotiated the most comprehensive and transparent monitoring system ever accepted by the North Korean government. Their level of cooperation is unprecedented. International staff, many with fluent Korean language skills, will open five or more field offices to make sure the food gets to the people who need it across North Korea. They will be able to make unannounced visits to food distribution centers, and track the food from port to hungry mouths.
"The United States people are generous. This aid is to be delivered on a purely humanitarian basis, and I strongly support this effort. It is not, however, connected to the North Korean nuclear crisis, where much hard work remains to be done."