The United States says it plans to donate 50,000 metric tons of food aid to North Korea.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says (Friday) the donation is in response to an appeal from the World Food Program, which says North Korea will need 480-thousand tons of food aid this year.
Mr. Boucher said the donation comes despite questions about North Korea's aid-distribution practices. He promised discussions about those practices will continue with North Korea, the World Food Program, and other donor nations.
He also said the donation is unrelated to negotiations over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
Despite its political differences with North Korea, the United States has long been the biggest single contributor of food aid to the nation.