But despite Kim Jong-un’s threat of starting a nuclear war the Foreign Office says it has no plans to stop.
The decision to maintain handing over foreign aid to the country agreed to be an international pariah state has been labelled “completely absurd”.
Last night the Daily Mail revealed the UK spent £740,000 on projects in the despotic regime in 2015 alone.
The news came as tensions between North Korea and America were escalated after the Communist nation said it would conduct weekly missile tests.
Its Vice-Foreign Minister Han Song-ryol told the BBC “all-out war” would result from US military action.
His comments were a response to US Vice-President Mike Pence, who warned North Korea not to test the US, saying his country’s “era of strategic patience” was over.
But in spite of all of this the Foreign Office insists its aid policy is helping to improve relations, having rapidly increased spending in recent years.
Having handed over just £32,000 in 2009, as the Coalition government pursued a new aid target of donating 0.7% of GDP, it rose to a whopping £1.3million in 2013.
In the past six years, more than £4million has been spent on projects including English lessons for regime officials and workshops for entrepreneurs.
A spokesman for the department defended the spending, stressing the money is spent on individual schemes rather than handed directly to the regime.
They said: “The projects we carry out in North Korea are part of our policy of critical engagement, and are used to promote British values and demonstrate to the North Korean people that engaging with the UK and the outside world is an opportunity rather than a threat.
“We conduct a range of small-scale project work, many of which help to improve the lives of the most vulnerable members of society.”
But former Tory defence minister Sir Gerald Howarth told the Mail it was unacceptable to hand taxpayers’ money to a country bent on attacking the West and its allies.
He said: “It is completely absurd to be giving aid to North Korea at this time.
“There are some very poor people there because of the regime’s actions, but the country is a communist basket case.
“They are trying to build a nuclear missile to hit the United States, they are destabilising the entire region. Why on earth are we giving them aid?”