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N.Korea asks UN to end humanitarian aid
Updated: 2005-09-23 07:00

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - North Korea said on Thursday it asked the United Nations to end all humanitarian aid because the country's food production had improved and the United States was politicizing the issue. Reuters reported.

N.Korea asks UN to end humanitarian aid
Choe Su Hon, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs from North Korea (2nd R) greets U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan (L) during the 60th General Assembly at the United Nations in New York September 21, 2005. [Reuters]
North Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Su Hon told news agency reporters he made the request to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a meeting on Wednesday, saying a better harvest had eased the humanitarian situation.

"We requested him to end humanitarian assistance by the end of this year," he said. "Particularly the United States attempted to politicize humanitarian assistance, linking it to the human rights issue."

A State Department spokesman strongly rejected suggestions the United States had politicized food aid to North Korea and had tried to link the granting of aid to human rights issues.

"All U.S. decisions are based on three criteria. Firstly on the need of the country involved, secondly on competing needs elsewhere and thirdly on our ability to ensure that the aid gets to people who need it most."

Choe said North Korea would continue to seek development aid from the international community, Development assistance is typically aimed at building infrastructure and facilities to help a country help itself, while humanitarian aid includes food and medical supplies.

Annan expressed understanding for Pyongyang's request, Choe said.

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