South Korea's top official on North Korea stressed Monday that delivery of promised rice aid to Pyongyang depends on whether the communist nation lives up to its commitment to start dismantling its nuclear weapons program.
At talks between the two Koreas that ended Sunday, the South agreed to send 400,000 tons of rice to the North despite its failure to meet a deadline more than two weeks ago to shut down its main nuclear reactor. The text of the agreement contains no preconditions for the aid delivery that is to begin in late May.
However, Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung said Monday that South Korea has "strongly delivered" its position that delivery of rice aid depends on whether North Korea implements the February accord reached at international arms talks.
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