United States Condemns North Korea and Cuts Food Aid
April 14, 2012, Washington, (PL) - The United States has called a food aid agreement off with the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, in reprisal for the recent launching of a long-range North Korean rocket that would put a satellite into orbit.
The bilateral accord included the shipment of 240 thousand tons of food in exchange for Pyongyang's commitment to suspend uranium enriching, giving up nuclear tests and long-range missile launching.
Pyongyang insists that the carrying rocket contained a satellite for peaceful research purposes that would be launched as part of celebrations marking the centennial of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung.
Washington, the European Union, Japan and South Korea accused the North Korean government of doing a covert ballistic test. US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, spoke with Chinese authorities, asking that country's Foreign Minister "to use its relationship with Pyongyang to express her concerns over its most recent actions".
For his part, Russia rejected the possibility of imposing sanctions on North Korea after the failed artificial satellite launch attempt and upheld the rights of the northern country to scientific research.
The United States, one of the harshest critics of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea, keeps some 28 thousand 500 US soldiers stationed in South Korea, on the so called demilitarized zone, a 238 kilometer long- 4 kilometer wide security strip that supposedly protects the border of the truce between the two Asian republics.