North Korea accepts then rejects aid from South Korea

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It was first reported that North Korea, reeling from a powerful tropical cyclone Bolaven, would accept aid from South Korean government for the first time in two years.

The United Nations World Food Program called for emergency help for North Korea after the cyclone killed at least 48 and left thousands homeless, according to North Korea’s state news agency KCNA.

The storm also destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of crops, according to a report published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). The storm followed widespread flooding in late July from heavy rains, which caused the death of at least 169 people, according to KCNA.

Employees from humanitarian groups that operate inside North Korea have described severe malnourishment on a large scale. A deal earlier this year for the United States to ship food aid to the country fell apart after the authoritarian regime in Pyongyang went ahead with a controversial rocket launch.

South Korea halted aid to the North after it shelled Yeongpyeong Island in November 2010, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. Pyongyang claimed it was retaliating for South Korean artillery landing in their waters during a military drill.

 

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This entry was posted in , by Grant Montgomery.

2 thoughts on “North Korea accepts then rejects aid from South Korea

  1. Grant Montgomery on said:

    As an update, North Korea has now refused to receive flood relief supplies from South Korea after checking details of the aid offer.

    On Tuesday the South sent a list of aid items it was offering its neighbour, including 10,000 tonnes of flour, instant noodles and medicine.

    The following day North Korea suddenly changed its stance, saying it would not accept “such aid”, a ministry official told AFP. The official added that the list of supplies had not included rice — a key issue in an earlier refusal of aid.

  2. Grant Montgomery on said:

    North Korea’s official new service issued the following explanation [excerpts]:

    “The South Korean Red Cross sent a notice proposing to have a Red Cross contact between the north and the south, saying the south would ‘render sincere aid without any conditions’ allegedly to help the north recover from the flood damage.

    “…We sent a notice to the south Korean Red Cross asking it to let us know about items and quantity of the aid materials ….

    “We, at the same time, made it clear that if the South Korean authorities seek to make a mockery of us over the issue of flood relief aid as they did in the past, this kind of offer is worse than sending nothing.

    “However, the South Korean Red Cross in its notice on Sept. 11 seriously insulted us again by offering to send a negligible quantity of goods to us.

    “When different countries of the world and international bodies were rendering sincere help to us, the south Korean puppet regime chilled the atmosphere of aid to us, claiming that ‘the north is exaggerating its flood damage.’

    “…The South Korean puppet group’s proposal to offer aid is nothing but a gesture to gain gratitude and save face under public pressure.

    “From the outset we did not expect anything from the [South Korean] puppet authorities as regards the flood damage but their behavior increased our feelings of disillusion. The Lee group is doomed to meet the most miserable end, cursed by all Koreans, as it is bereft of elementary ethics and morality and even an iota of reason for being crazy for confrontation with compatriots.”

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