SKorea: EU officials to visit NKorea for aid talks

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A South Korean official says that a group of European Union officials plan to visit North Korea early next month to assess the need for food aid.

The EU suspended food shipments to North Korea years ago amid disputes over monitoring its distribution.

But a March U.N. report said that more than 6 million North Koreans are now in need of urgent international food aid.

U.S. human rights envoy Robert King traveled to North Korea last week with specialists to examine the severity of the shortage.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry official said Sunday that EU officials plan to spend two weeks in North Korea on a similar mission.

He spoke on condition of anonymity citing diplomatic protocol.

Calls to the EU office in Seoul were unanswered Sunday.