News

US: N. Korea Rocket Launch Would Make Food Aid 'Hard to Imagine'

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland (file photo)

The United States says North Korea's planned rocket launch imperils the delivery of food aid as part of last month's agreement on nuclear inspections.  North Korea announced Friday that it will launch a satellite-carrying a long-range rocket in April.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says the North Korean launch would violate U.N. resolutions prohibiting the use of ballistic missile technology and counters last month's agreement to allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to again inspect  North Korean nuclear sites.

"This calls into question whether, when the DPRK entered into that agreement with us, they did so in good faith. Because at the time, we did warn them that we consider that a satellite launch of this kind would be an abrogation of that agreement,” Nuland said.

Nuland says it is a highly provocative move that makes the delivery of 240,000 tons of food aid hard to imagine. While she says the United States does not link humanitarian assistance with political issues, Washington will not deliver food aid to Pyongyang unless it is convinced that food will go to those in need.

“It's very hard to imagine that if we have a satellite launch - which would call into question their good faith and whether they keep any of the commitments that they make, that we would be able to have confidence in the monitoring arrangements that we are trying to make with them, or that the environment would be such, would be sufficiently tension-free that we could actually implement those agreements,” Nuland said.

Last month's agreement to restart nuclear inspections was the first made by the new government of Kim Jong Un, who took power following his father's death in December. It was the most apparent progress since 2009, when North Korea pulled out of an aid-for-disarmament deal with the United States, China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.

Nuland says the Obama administration's special representative for North Korea, Glyn Davies, has spoken with his counterparts in China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea and they are all working to encourage North Korea to change course.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he is seriously concerned about North Korea's planned launch and is urging Pyongyang to reconsider its decision.

The North Korean announcement says the satellite payload will be carried into orbit on an Unha-3 rocket - the latest version of a three-stage, long-range ballistic missile that intelligence sources believe is designed to eventually carry nuclear weapons.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John
March 17, 2012 1:46 AM
A useful opportunity for the US to save some of the taxpayers' money. Bribing North Korea obviously does not work.

by: hadagutful
March 16, 2012 3:46 PM
this country lives on blackmail that is give us food or we will launch (something). The comparsion is that of the mafia. DO we bend for the mafia? Should we continually be placed in a position where we can be chastised or ridiculed for not supplying aid?

Let them support themselves and see what happens. Where is their good friend China in all of this? Silent as a sleeping bear.

by: Gerry
March 16, 2012 2:51 PM
What a load of bologna this proclamation by the US State Department is! The US and all her allies put satellites into space on a regular basis, and so do Russia and China. No big deal. They spy on us and we spy on them. Where do you suppose a country that has barely the technology to manufacture light bulbs gets the technology to put a satellite in space? Hmmm ... hello China.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs