The United States government has contributed food aid to North Korea nearly every year since 1996. This article breaks down the assistance into three phases: the initial phase, when DPRK-U.S. tension began over the monitoring protocol; the second phase, with increasing congressional pressure to make further assistance contingent on improved monitoring; and the third phase, in which U.S. concerns over monitoring were partially addressed. The article explores various, possibly overlapping, explanations for U.S.-DPRK disagreement over monitoring protocols, such as different expectations and cultural learning curves. It concludes with recommendations for the U.S. government to explore food-security programming in the DPRK and to reconsider the laws and theories guiding U.S. aid to countries with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations. The article also draws from U.S. nongovernment organization programming in comparison with the U.S. government experience.