SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's foreign ministry on Monday accused the United States of using humanitarian aid as a political tool for interfering in internal affairs and taking issue with human rights.
Kang Hyon-chol, a senior researcher at the Association for the Promotion of International Economic and Technological Exchange, made the case in an article published on the website of the North's foreign ministry.
"In actual practice, many countries have undergone bitter tastes as a result of pinning much hope on the American 'aid' and 'humanitarian assistance,'" Kang said.
"This vividly reveals that the American ulterior intention of linking 'humanitarian assistance' with 'human rights issue' is to legitimize their pressure on the sovereign states and achieve their sinister political scheme," he added.
Kang said the world is now facing severe economic difficulties because of the COVID-19 pandemic and accused the U.S. of attempting to abuse the suffering and pain for "sinister political purposes."
An earlier report said the U.S. may consider sharing COVID-19 vaccines with North Korea if requested by the impoverished nation. The article appears to reflect the North's commitment to self-reliance and rejection of humanitarian aid if Washington brings up Pyongyang's human rights issue.
The North has been expected to receive around 2 million doses of coronavirus vaccines through COVAX, but they have not been delivered to the country yet.
North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free but has taken relatively swift and tough measures against the pandemic, such as imposing strict border controls since early last year.
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