|Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks to Rangnang Kindergarten and World Food Program Distribution Site
October 23, 2000, Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much Doug and good morning to all of you. I am very pleased to be here as the first American Secretary of State to visit the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and certainly the first one to have danced with the children.
One of the reasons I wanted to come was to observe first-hand the outstanding work of Douglas Broderick and the World Food Program team here. I very much also wanted to visit with the children of North Korea, because you represent the future, and because you are such wonderful dancers and singers, and you're so beautiful. I'm looking forward to going back to the United States and telling my grandchildren all about you and how beautiful you look and how well you dance.
I leave here much impressed with what I have seen. The WFP staff is doing a superb job here in the DPRK. I am heartened to see your dedication and high morale even though you are so far from home.
I have often spoken about the importance of the World Food Program. But it's so important to see it in person, because your work is vital, because these children, and their brothers and sisters around the country, should be able to grow up without fear of emergency shortages or famine. And international donors should be assured that the supplies they send are used for the purposes intended.
Despite the difficult conditions, you have launched innovative programs aimed at enhancing local food production, promoting agricultural rehabilitation, and helping women gain equal access to food supplies. I am so pleased to be able to see some of this in action.
I also hope the cooperation we have begun to see between the DPRK and the international community will continue to expand to the benefit of all the people of this country.
The United States has donated nearly 1.5 million tons of food aid to World Food Programs here. When others were still reluctant, we led the way. The American people care about humanitarian issues. We always have, and we always will.
In closing let me say again that the North Korean people should be proud of their children, who are so talented, and who have the hope for a bright tomorrow in their eyes.
And the World Food Program should be proud of its work here and around the globe to save and enrich people's lives.
I want to thank Douglas Broderick and WFP once more for the tour and the Rangnang Kindergarten for allowing me the chance to visit with you. And I brought a few presents and supplies for the use of these wonderful children. I hope you enjoy them.
May God Bless you in your work, and in your hopes for a future in which every child is fed, and hunger is just a memory, not a reality, in Korea and around the world.
Thank you very much.
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