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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs