Monday, January 19, 2004

relevant to tonight's discussion...

Guess it's gonna be a hard winter for NK's citizens.

BEIJING -- The World Food Program has been forced to cut off food aid to 2.7 million North Korean women and children during the height of the country's harsh winter because of a lack of foreign donations, an agency spokesman said Monday.

The U.N. agency received new promises of aid from the United States, European Union and Australia after warning in December of an impending crisis, but those supplies could take up to three months to arrive, spokesman Gerald Bourke said. The agency is trying to feed nearly a third of North Korea's people.

The food crisis coincides with efforts to arrange new talks on the standoff over North Korea's nuclear ambitions. Despite diplomatic tensions, two leading critics of the North's nuclear program -- the United States and South Korea -- are among its biggest food donors, and the WFP says no governments have cited the nuclear issue as a factor in deciding whether to contribute.

This is one of Natsios's biggest issues: for him, it's morally repugnant to tie politics to food/humanitarian aid. I don't quite agree with him, but we'll talk about this in a bit.


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