"This report summarizes U.S. assistance to the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea (DPRK, also known as North Korea). It will be updated periodically to track changes in U.S. provision of aid to North Korea. Since 1995, the United States has provided North Korea with over $1 billion in assistance, about 60% of which has paid for food aid and 40% or so paying for energy assistance. […] U.S. aid fell significantly in the mid-2000s, bottoming out at zero in FY2006. The Bush Administration resumed assistance in FY2007. In the fall of 2007, when progress began to be made in the six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear program, the United States began providing heavy fuel oil (HFO) in return for Pyongyang freezing and disabling its plutonium-based nuclear facilities in Yongbyon. The United States also is expected to provide technical assistance to North Korea to help in the disabling and dismantling processes. In May 2008, the Bush Administration announced it would resume food assistance to North Korea by providing 500,000 metric tons (MT). The first shipment was sent on June 29, 2008, after an agreement on monitoring was signed. Food aid to the DPRK has been scrutinized because Pyongyang restricts the ability of donor agencies to operate in the country. Compounding the problem is that South Korea and China, which in recent years have been North Korea's two most important providers of food aid, have little to no monitoring systems in place. In 2008, U.N. officials have called for international donations of food to avert a 'serious tragedy' in North Korea, as hunger has deepened."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21834