February 16, 2011 12:22
The U.S. State Department cut the entire budget for promoting democracy in North Korea from a 2012 budget proposal submitted to Congress on Monday. Since 2008, the department allocated US$2.5-3.5 million a year to the Economic Support Fund to support organizations working for democratization and human rights there, but it did not allocate a penny to the fund this year.
"Many government agencies are cutting their budgets, and so is the State Department," said a diplomatic source in Washington. "It has drastically cut funds for other countries such as the Philippines as well."
But Radio Free Asia quoted a State Department official as saying it is possible that Washington will keep supporting the North through an emergency relief fund.
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