U.S. aid to North Korea over the last 15 years totaled more than US$1.3 billion, according to official figures. The U.S. Congressional Research Service in a report Sunday said Washington provided $1.31 billion worth of food, energy and medical aid to North Korea since 1995, when the Geneva accords on the dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons was signed.
North Korea has continued to develop nuclear arms, but U.S. aid to North Korea continued every year except 2006, when the North conducted its first nuclear test. Even last year, when UN and U.S. sanctions coincided, Washington still gave $600,000 worth of medicine to North Korea to help flood victims.
Humanitarian food aid accounted for the largest portion of $781.5 million or 2.26 million tons, though this was halted in March 2009. The U.S. also provided $146 million worth of heavy oil under agreements reached in six-party denuclearization talks, as well as $437 million related to the abortive construction of a light-water nuclear reactor under the now defunct Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization. It gave another $10 million worth of medicine and other daily necessities.
The CRS said that from 1995 to 2009, the international community as a whole gave 12 million tons of food aid to North Korea. China accounted for 26.9 percent, South Korea for 26.5 percent, the U.S. for 17.5 percent and Japan for 10.7 percent, and together they made up more than 80 percent.