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Press Statement
Sean McCormack
Washington, DC
December 30, 2008
Question Taken on December 30, 2008

Status of Food Aid Deliveries to North Korea (Taken Question)

Question:  Will you please provide an update on the deliveries of food aid to North Korea?

Answer:   To date, over 143,000 metric tons of U.S. food (wheat, corn, and soybeans) has been delivered to North Korea. Of that amount, the latest shipment of 25,000 metric tons of corn and soybeans arrived in North Korea on November 23 and has completed unloading for distribution by the U.S. NGOs. The latest shipment of food aid (totaling 21,000 metric tons), which was expected to arrive by the end of December, is now expected to arrive in the DPRK on January 2, due to recent rough seas.

The United States has not stopped food aid to North Korea. Under the terms of our agreement with the DPRK, there is to be no limit imposed on the Korean language capabilities of the World Food Program (WFP) and U.S. NGO staff implementing the food aid program. The lack of sufficient Korean speakers on the WFP program is one of the key issues in ongoing discussions. The issuance of visas for Korean-speaking monitors for the WFP program is another issue currently being discussed, along with other technical issues. A delegation that recently visited North Korea, identified problems in the implementation of the world food program portion of the food aid program. Those problems are not yet resolved.

2008/1105

Released on December 30, 2008

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