US cautious about aid for flood-hit NK
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- The United States remained cautious Tuesday about the possibility of providing humanitarian aid for North Korea, pounded by heavy rain.
A State Department official said the U.S. government is not directly involved in the U.N.'s on-site assessment of flood damage in the secretive communist nation.
“Only DPRK-based U.N. staff traveled to flood damaged areas to assess conditions," the official told Yonhap News Agency on the customary condition of anonymity. "At this time, there are no plans for a separate U.S. assessment.”
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's formal name.
“We continue to be concerned about the well-being of the people of the DPRK," the official added. "Our longstanding humanitarian policy towards the DPRK remains unchanged.”
Several days of downpours battered Pyongyang, the capital, and other regions, according to the country's state media, which said dozens of people were killed and tens of thousands left homeless.
The U.N. said its staff, based in North Korea, visited the two worst-affected areas.
Earlier Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed concern for the North Korean people.
"Obviously, for North Koreans who are suffering, you know, our hearts go out to them. But I don't have anything specific on assistance," he said when asked to comment on the floods in the North.