Washington: The United States would not intervene in Seoul’s move to provide food aid to North Korea, the White House said on Wednesday, despite the recent firing of projectiles by Pyongyang last week.
Speaking to reporters in Washington, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders cleared that the primary focus of US shall remain on North Korea’s denuclearisation.
“Our position in regards to North Korea is going to continue to be the maximum pressure campaign. Our focus is on the denuclearisation,” Yonhap quoted Sanders as saying. She was referring to the US-led sanctions aimed at dismantling the North’s nuclear weapons programme. “If South Korea moves forward on that front, we’re not going to intervene.”
However, the statement was made before the firing of fresh projectiles by North Korea earlier today.
Sanders further said that US President Donald Trump expressed support for South Korea’s possible humanitarian assistance to the North during a phone call with President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday.
According to a recent report by the United Nations, more than 10 million North Koreans are suffering “severe food shortages” due to a series of weather disasters, compounded by international sanctions on the country, particularly by the US.
The sanctions have been imposed in a bid to get the reclusive state to denuclearise. The US, especially, has been steadfast on its stance of granting sanctions relief only after Pyongyang has completely denuclearised.
Meanwhile, US Special Representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, held talks with his South Korean counterpart Lee Do-hoon earlier today, where the two discussed ways to resume talks between Washington and Pyongyang.