The US says it will not continue to provide food aid to North Korea unless Pyongyang allows international relief workers to monitor its distribution. The US needs to be sure the aid is reaching those who need it most, state department spokesman Adam Ereli said. Mr Ereli accused North Korea's leaders of ignoring the needs of their people and letting them starve.
The UN World Food Programme says it is halting food aid to North Korea after Pyongyang said it was no longer needed.
North Korea has relied on foreign aid to feed millions of people since acknowledging a famine in the mid-1990s. But it now says better harvests at home and aid supplies from China and South Korea have rendered the aid distributed by the UN redundant. Instead, Pyongyang has said, it wants more foreign help with long-term development projects.
If the NOKO harvest has improved - and they don't need our food aid, or that of the UN - then we have lost an important negotiating tool. OTOH: maybe this will strengthen China's hand, and maybe they will be more effective as twisting Kim Jong Il's arm?!?
Nothing in China's behavior over the last four years gives me ANY encouragement on this front.
MAYBE IT'S TIME THEY USED MY STRATEGY: build a nuclear power plant in Seoul and just give North Korea FREE ELECTRICITY if they close their nuclear power plants. (I first blogged this idea HERE, on 10/10/05)