N Korea criticises US aid suspension, warns on deal

North Korea criticised the US suspension of food aid over its planned rocket launch as an "overreaction".

Seoul: North Korea on Saturday criticised the US suspension of food aid over its planned rocket launch as an "overreaction", saying it would render a US-North Korean deal reached last month null and void.

"The US overreaction to DPRK (North Korea`s) plan... has gone beyond the limit," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said, according to the North`s official news agency.

He said that Washington had previously insisted that it made no link between humanitarian and political issues. "But it responded to DPRK`s planned satellite launch with the announcement to stop following through on its commitment to food aid," the spokesman continued.

"This would be a regrettable act of scrapping the DPRK-US agreement in its entirety as it is a violation of the core articles of the February 29 DPRK-US agreement."

Under the deal, North Korea had agreed to a partial nuclear freeze and a missile test moratorium in return for 240,000 tonnes of US food aid.

But not long afterwards, the North announced it planned to launch a satellite between April 12-16 to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung.

The United States said on Wednesday it would suspend food aid. It had said the exercise was a disguised long-range missile test which would breach UN resolutions as well as last month`s agreement.

In today`s statement, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the North was yet to make its mind up about its final response to the US suspension of food aid, and urged Washington to reconsider the move.

He urged the US to accept the "peaceful satellite launch by a sovereign state, though belatedly, and prove in practice its words that it has no hostility toward" the North. (AFP)


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