U.S. Food Aid to North Korea Sends the Wrong Message

By Andrew Natsios (The Washington Post)

Another food crisis has spread across North Korea, caused by yet another poor harvest and Pyongyang’s disastrous currency ma­nipu­la­tion scheme, which wiped out the savings many people had used to feed themselves. We do not know how many people are dying, but it is not as bad as the famine of the 1990s, which killed as many as 2.5 million people.

The Obama administration pledged 240,000 metric tons of food aid and nutritional supplements for children just as the president’s North Korean envoy, Steve Bosworth, announced that Washington would resume four-party nuclear talks. Bosworth acknowledged that the food aid would demonstrate to the North Koreans “that they are getting something in return for the freeze in their nuclear activities.”

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