US to decide soon on food assistance to DPRK

Updated: 2011-05-17 14:51


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SEOUL - The United States will decide soon whether to send its official to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) for talks over food assistance, a visiting senior US official said on Tuesday.

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Local reports have said that Robert King, US special envoy for DPRK human rights, will travel to Pyongyang next week on a mission aimed at assessing food situation of the country faced with chronic food shortages.

"We will be making a decision on (the visit) in the next few days and it will be announced from Washington," Stephen Bosworth told reporters.

His remarks came after he met with Wi Sung-lac, South Korea's top envoy to stalled six-party talks aimed at dismantling the DPRK's nuclear program.

"We had good a discussion today of the North Korean (DPRK) request for food assistance, and I think we have largely reached a common view on that, and we will be addressing that as we move ahead," Bosworth said during his meeting with Wi.

Seoul officials have appeared lackadaisical at best to calls for food aid to Pyongyang by United Nations agencies, which say the DPRK is in need of 434,000 tons of food assistance to tackle its critical food shortage.

South Korea suspended its aid to the DPRK as relations between the two sides getting worse.


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