The U.S. has defended its decision to suspend a food aid program to North Korea, drawing criticism from an nongovernmental organization which said that Washington had missed an opportunity to help “severely hungry people.”
A State Department spokesperson told reporters that a satellite launch planned for April by the North, which caused the suspension of the food aid program, goes against conditions in an agreement between the two nations.
Under that agreement, Washington would have delivered 240,000 tons of food to Pyongyang over twelve months in exchange for a suspension of missile tests and permission for international inspectors to visit the North’s nuclear facilities.
According to the State Department, the launch of a satellite, atop a rocket that experts say could be used to deliver a nuclear warhead, is in breach of the “Leap Day” agreement and calls into question Pyongyang’s “good faith.”
North Korea maintains that the rocket does not represent a missile test, and that its payload is a scientific weather satellite.
Pyongyang plans to blast the satellite into orbit between April 12 and 16.
Via Radio Free Asia.