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Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 16, 2007
Question Taken at Daily Briefing of Nov. 16, 2007

North Korea: Food Aid Discussions (Taken Question)

Question: What are the details regarding the United States government delegation that visited North Korea in October to discuss food aid to the DPRK? What was the goal of the meeting? Is the United States about to resume food aid to North Korea?

Answer: On August 31, the State Department announced that the United States was prepared to engage with North Korean officials on arrangements for a significant food aid package, based upon appropriate management procedures. U.S. and DPRK government officials have engaged in direct discussions to consider whether food assistance will be possible. These talks included a visit to Pyongyang by a U.S. team in late October.

United States Government policy on food aid is based on three factors: 1) level of need; 2) availability of supplies; and 3) our ability to ensure that aid is reliably reaching the people in need.

North Korea has indicated to the international community that it faces a severe shortfall of food supplies, perhaps on the order of over one million tons short of levels that would be sufficient to alleviate chronic malnutrition.

The United States is discussing food aid with North Korea within that context. A key issue for any food aid provided to North Korea would be the ability to ensure that the aid is reliably reaching the people in need.

2007/1017



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