US: N Korea rejects American food aid

March 17, 2009 9:43:04 AM PDT
The United States says North Korea is rejecting American food aid. State Department spokesman Robert Wood says the North gave no reason for rejecting U.S. food shipments. But the decision comes amid a nuclear standoff and North Korean plans to launch a satellite into space next month.

Wood says the U.S. will work with non-governmental organizations to help make sure the food already in North Korea gets to the needy. The North faces chronic food shortages and relies on outside aid to feed its people.

Wood says the North's notification came in recent days.

He says the U.S. delivered 169,000 metric tons of food to North Korea in 2008 and so far this year. He says the last shipment of 5,000 metric tons arrived in late January.

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