South Korea says it’s unlikely to help with North Korean flood relief

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South Korea said that it was unlikely to provide humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of flood survivors in North Korea even if the country asked for help, reaffirming its hard-line stance after the North’s fifth nuclear test.

North Korea has mobilized soldiers and workers in internal relief efforts for an estimated 140,000 victims in its northern provinces after torrential rains last month caused what it has described as some of the worst flooding in its history.

“North Korea has not asked for help, and we don’t expect it to,” Jeong Joon-hee, a spokesman for the South’s Unification Ministry, said during a news briefing. “Even if it does, I think, given the present situation, that the possibility of providing aid is low.”

“It should have spent the massive expenses not in a nuclear test but in helping its people recover from the flood damage,” Mr. Jeong said.

Despite North Korea’s frequent military provocations and its pursuit of nuclear weapons, the suffering of ordinary citizens often elicits sympathy in the South. The South’s Constitution includes North Korea in its territory and calls for “national unity” through “humanitarianism and brotherly love.”

[New York Times]

This entry was posted in by Grant Montgomery.

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