(WASHINGTON) — The millions suffering in North Korea from not having enough to eat can blame their government for continuing to starve them, according to the Obama administration.
Incensed by Pyongyang’s plan to launch a rocket in mid April, the U.S. has reneged on its offer to provide food assistance to North Korea, which has endured devastating shortages over the past two decades.
Pyongyang maintains that it’s only sending up a satellite but the West believes the launch will involve a long-range missile — a clear violation of a missile test moratorium pact.
Pentagon official Peter Lavoy said Wednesday that in exchange for food aid, North Korea had signed onto a partial freeze of its missile activities.
The U.S. also doesn’t think North Korea can be trusted to properly deliver assistance to its own people.
Had the deal gone through, 240,000 tons of food would have been provided mostly to children and pregnant women.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Euan McKirdy and Marilia Brocchetto, CNN
Ben Westcott, CNN
Arwa Damon, Waffa Munayyer and Bryony Jones, CNN
Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN