U.S. officials to visit DPRK for food assessment

11:22, May 21, 2011      

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U.S. officials will travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) next week to assess the food situation there, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

Department spokesman Mark Toner said U.S. special envoy for DPRK human rights Robert King and the USAID deputy assistant administrator for the office of foreign disaster assistance, Jon Brause, will travel to the DPRK from next Tuesday to next Saturday.

He said the two officials, accompanied by food security experts, will conduct a field evaluation of food security needs and will also meet with DPRK government officials.

He said the evaluation will build on the assessments that have already been done by the World Food Program and other U.S. nongovernmental organizations.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that we will provide food assistance, but it's the first step in evaluating the need," he added.

The last U.S. food assistance program on the DPRK was suspended in March 2009.

Source: Xinhua

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