WASHINGTON, April 10 (Yonhap) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the head of the U.N. food agency and discussed the issue of providing food aid to North Korea, the State Department said Wednesday.

Pompeo sat down Tuesday with U.N. World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley for talks on the humanitarian situation in countries including Yemen and Venezuela.

"On North Korea, the Secretary and Executive Director Beasley discussed the World Food Programme's initiatives to provide nutrition assistance to children, mothers, and disaster-affected communities," the department said in a statement.

North Korea is under tough international sanctions for its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

In its monthly report in March, the U.N. food agency said the sanctions pose a challenge to delivering food assistance to the country.

While humanitarian activities are not subject to the sanctions, the restrictions have caused disruptions to banking channels, breakdowns in supply chains and delays in the transportation of goods.

The agency estimated that US$9.1 million will be required to provide food aid to North Korea from March to August. It also said some 11 million people more than 40 percent of the population are undernourished.

Source: Yonhap news Agency