Britain’s £4million in aid to North Korea – but Foreign Office says it has NO plans to scrap handouts to rogue state
Britain has sent more than £4million in foreign aid to North Korea over six years
Despite the regime’s threat to ignite a nuclear war taxpayers’ money was sent
The money, £740,000 in 2015 alone, is intended to boost western values abroad
Ministers are calling for the UK to cease sending aid to the volatile North Korea
By JASON GROVES FOR THE DAILY MAIL
18 April 2017
Britain has sent more than £4million in foreign aid to North Korea in the past six years despite the communist regime’s threat to spark nuclear war, it emerged last night.
Official figures reveal the UK spent £740,000 of taxpayers’ money on aid projects in the despotic regime in 2015 alone – a 167 per cent increase on the previous year.
The Foreign Office, which is responsible for most of the spending, yesterday said it had no plans to axe the aid programme.
Sources said aid could help improve relations with the pariah state, although there is little evidence it has had much impact since the payments to the country began to be increased in 2010.
The money also counts towards the Government’s controversial target of spending 0.7 per cent of Britain’s income on international development.
Last night ministers were facing fresh calls to end all aid to North Korea in response to the increasingly bellicose threats from dictator Kim Jong-un.
Former Tory defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth said it was unacceptable to hand taxpayers’ money to a country bent on attacking the West and its allies.
‘It is completely absurd to be giving aid to North Korea at this time,’ he said. ‘There are some very poor people there because of the regime’s actions, but the country is a communist basket case.
‘They are trying to build a nuclear missile to hit the United States, they are destabilising the entire region. Why on earth are we giving them aid?’
Sir Gerald said the case highlighted the problems caused by the 0.7 per cent aid target, which was enshrined in law by the [Tory-led former] Coalition government.
He added: ‘Ridiculous cases like this are just more evidence of the need to re-examine the whole basis of the aid programme. We need to repeal the legislation, slash the aid budget dramatically [by 100%] and spend the money on priorities like defence and social care.’