America suspends food aid to North Korea over missile

Fri, Mar 30, 2012, 01:00

The United States has suspended food aid to North Korea in response to determination in Pyongyang to push ahead with a plan to launch a long-range missile in defiance of international warnings.

Reclusive North Korea has said it is merely sending a weather satellite into space, but South Korea and the US say it is a disguised ballistic missile test. North Korea said yesterday there was no reason to fire a missile after February’s agreement to suspend nuclear and missile tests in return for food aid with the United States.

But acting assistant US secretary of defence for Asia and Pacific security affairs Peter Lavoy told the House of Representative armed services committee that the announcement of the launch was in breach of the agreement.

“This planned launch is highly provocative because it manifests North Korea’s desire to test and expand its long-range missile capability,” Mr Lavoy told the House panel. “We believe this reflects their lack of desire to follow through on their commitments, their international commitments, and so we’ve ... been forced to suspend providing nutritional assistance to North Korea.” – (Reuters)