'US to Ease Limits on Humanitarian Aid to N. Korea'
Write: 2019-01-12 13:02:19 / Update: 2019-01-12 13:32:12
A U.S. media outlet on diplomatic affairs reported Friday that the U.S. has decided to ease limits on humanitarian aid to North Korea.
Citing several diplomats and relief workers, foreignpolicy.com(FP) says the State Department has decided to ease some of its most stringent restrictions on humanitarian assistance to North Korea.
The report said this includes lifting travel restrictions on American aid workers and loosening its block on humanitarian supplies destined for the country.
FP said the decision was communicated to humanitarian aid organizations on Wednesday by Stephen Biegun, the U.S. senior envoy for North Korea.
It said the decision follows claims by the United Nations and private relief agencies in recent months that the U.S. policy was undermining efforts to run life-saving relief operations such as programs designed to combat infectious diseases.
FP noted that this move marks the first significant step in months by the Trump administration to relax its “maximum pressure” campaign on Pyongyang.
But it said it’s unclear whether the action was conceived as a goodwill gesture to the North Korean regime to help facilitate nuclear negotiations or was a response to mounting diplomatic pressure to soften a policy that threatened the lives of North Korean civilians.