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May 11

Should the U.S. Provide Food Aid to North Korea?

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North Korea has again appealed for food aid to alleviate the suffering of its people. Teams from the World Food Program and non-government organizations have chronicled the country’s abysmal nutritional deficits, particularly for children and the elderly. Pyongyang told visiting inspection teams that it is now willing to accept strict monitoring requirements to prevent further diversion of food aid to its military, but doubts remain.

The United States and South Korea are currently considering whether to respond to North Korea’s entreaties. Should humanitarian assistance be devoid of policy considerations or do Pyongyang’s violations of UN resolutions preclude it from receiving aid from UN agencies such as the World Food Program? To what degree should Washington’s decision be linked to that of key ally South Korea which suffered two deadly North Korean attacks last year? Should assistance instead be provided to nations that have suffered more recent natural catastrophes?

Join us as our panel of experts discusses the parameters under which Washington and Seoul should provide extensive food aid to North Korea.

More About the Speakers

Dr. Patrick Cronin
Senior Advisor and Senior Director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program, Center for New American Security

Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt
Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research

Bruce Klingner
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

Walter Lohman Walter Lohman

Director, Asian Studies Center Read More