By Byun Duk-kun
WASHINGTON, June 30 (Yonhap) -- The United States continues to support providing humanitarian assistance to the people of North Korea, a state department spokesperson said Thursday.
"The United States continues to support international efforts aimed at the provision of critical humanitarian aid in the hope that the DPRK will accept it," the spokesperson told Yonhap News Agency, asking not to be identified.
DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, North Korea's official name.
The remarks come after North Korea slammed the U.S. for maintaining and seeking additional sanctions against Pyongyang.
In a statement, released Thursday (Seoul time), the North Korean foreign ministry accused the U.S. of trying to "squeeze" North Korea to death while speaking of humanitarian assistance to avoid international criticism.
The state department spokesperson declined to comment on the North Korean statement but said the U.S. will continue to seek to help reduce the suffering of people in the impoverished North.
"Even where we disagree with a government like the DPRK, we must work to the best of our ability to alleviate the suffering of the people," the department official said.