Monday, December 15, 2003

The Associated Press (Christopher Marquis, "IN REVERSAL, US MAY SEND ADDITIONAL FOOD AID TO NORTH KOREA," Washington, 12/12/03) reported that the US is considering releasing roughly 66,000 tons in additional food aid to the DPRK this year as that country faces a winter famine, administration officials said Thursday. Administration officials had withheld the aid to protest the DPRK's failure to comply with international monitors seeking to ensure that the provisions go to the people who need it. But given predictions of an imminent humanitarian crisis and a plea for more donations from the United Nations agency that distributes food aid, the officials said they were rethinking their stance. "We are still considering whether to provide additional food aid to North Korea through the World Food Program under the 2003 appeal," a State Department official said.
It is a difficult dilemma (see here for some speculation concerning humanitarian aid and the DPRK) but at the end of the day, it is hard for me to justify denying food to starving people even when it is clear that not all the food may end up in the bellies of those who need it most.

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