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North Korea criticizes US humanitarian aid as 'sinister political scheme'
Even as the US is looking to denuclearize North Korea, officials are still attempting to have diplomatic ties to the nation especially as the COVID-19 pandemic goes on. Recently, Pyongyang criticized the humanitarian aid that the US had sent over.
Over the weekend, North Korea published a rebuke of the humanitarian aid sent by the US on an official website. North Korean senior researcher Kang Hyon Chol dismissed the aid from the US, citing that it is a political strategy placed to put pressure on other countries. Kang listed examples of the US’ practice of linking humanitarian aid to foreign policy goals or to human rights issues.
“This vividly reveals that the American ulterior intention of linking ‘humanitarian assistance’ with ‘human rights issue’ is to legitimize their pressure on the sovereign states and achieve their sinister political scheme,” wrote Kang.
Kang noted the declining assistance of the US to the government of Afghanistan, as the US is set to withdraw its troops including their Afghan interpreters in the weeks to come.
The criticism follows suggestions from US allies like South Korea, saying that COVID-19 vaccines or other forms of aid could help in cooperation. South Korea has pledged to provide COVID-19 vaccines if needed. Analysts predicted that this move would help pave the way for diplomatic talks with North Korea that have since rejected attempts by South Korea and the US since 2019.
South Korea’s unification ministry said that the criticism was not an official statement and that it will continue to reach out to its Northern counterparts to ensure health and safety in the two Koreas. North Korea has accepted limited assistance from China and Russia while rejecting the assistance sent by South Korea and the US.
Meanwhile, South Korean intelligence experts have said that the condition of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who recently lost a significant amount of weight and as of the previous month, looked lighter. Kim’s condition is amidst a growing famine happening in the region. The diet has since led to speculations regarding the North Korean leader’s health.
Kim previously stepped away from the public eye but resurfaced several weeks ago, and has appeared to shed a lot of weight. South Korean spies speculated that Kim was coming from a fitness retreat which would explain the weight loss.