NKorea: US offered food aid for disarmament

By the Associated Press | January 11, 2012 | 1:16 AM EST

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea says that before Kim Jong Il's death the United States offered to provide food aid if Pyongyang halted its uranium enrichment program.

North Korea responded angrily to the offer Wednesday, with a Foreign Ministry spokesman accusing Washington of "politicizing" food shipments.

The comments come as Kim's young son works to consolidate power as leader amid a food crisis and a nuclear standoff.

The Associated Press reported before Kim Jong Il's death that the United States was poised to announce a significant donation of food aid to North Korea. That would have been followed within days by an agreement to suspend uranium enrichment.

The North says Washington made its proposal in talks with Pyongyang that began in July last year.