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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Team to Visit North Korea

WASHINGTON -- North Korea, one of the world's most secretive and closed societies, will allow a U.S. government team to visit the country for a firsthand assessment of a worsening famine, the Clinton administration said Monday.

The regime's decision to admit the inspection team, which arrives Saturday, suggests that the government in Pyongyang has decided to bend a little in order to get the donated food needed to alleviate the country's spreading hunger.

"The United States regards the food situation in North Korea as very serious,'' State Department spokesman James Rubin said.

He stressed that the goal of the inspection, the first by a U.S. government team, is to make sure food is not being diverted to feed the country's million-member army.

"The report of this team is designed to help us better understand the situation," the State Department spokesman said.