asked Her Majesty's Government:
What assessment they have made of the World Food Programme's investigation of potential famine in North Korea; whether they intend to provide additional food aid to North Korea; and whether they will make representations to the Government of North Korea to provide access to the closed counties of that country. [HL5208]
We are considering the World Food Programme's (WFP) assessment and will take a decision on whether to provide additional food aid once we have discussed it with our European Union partners. Discussions should take place in the next few weeks. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has granted the WFP access to previously closed counties. We continue to press for access to those counties that remain closed.
We have no development programme in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. We provided food aid of £700,000 in 2007 in response to a United Nations flood appeal. This supported programmes by the World Food Programme and Save the Children UK. Most NGOs are put off working in the DPRK by the operating difficulties and restrictions on their work. We are always willing to advise, and to facilitate where possible, if an organisation is keen to set up in the DPRK.