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US Acknowledges Talks With North Korea on Food Aid Monitoring


The United States says U.S. and North Korean officials have met in New York for working-level talks on monitoring food aid to the Stalinist state.

U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says a working-level meeting took place earlier this week and concerned U.S. calls for allowing humanitarian organizations to monitor food assistance in North Korea.

Mr. Boucher's comments come a few days after President Bush signed into law the North Korean Human Rights Act, which calls for increased transparency in humanitarian aid to the Stalinist state, as well as efforts to make sure that assistance reaches the neediest people.

North Korea has relied heavily on foreign aid to feed its people since the mid-1990s.

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