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Japan to give 400,000 tons of rice to N.K.

Posted September. 04, 2000 15:05,   


The Japanese government will contribute additional aid of 400,000 tons of rice to North Korea through the World Food Program, Japan`s Asahi Shinbun reported Saturday.

The World Food Project (WFP) plans to ask countries to extend grain aid of about 500,000 tons to North Korea this week, and on this occasion Japan will announce its additional aid shortly, the daily said.

According to the WFP, North Korea is short of about 1 million tons of food, yet the food offered by international community through various channels amounts to 500,000 tons.

Japan said that its additional aid is made from a humanitarian viewpoint, but it also could be interpreted as being aimed at inducing the North to come up with a more forward-looking attitude toward pending issues such as the kidnapping of Japanese citizens in the North-Japan negotiations for the normalization of diplomatic ties.

"The Japanese government thinks the rice aid is the greatest tool for the negotiations for normalization of relations," the newspaper quoted a Japanese negotiator as saying. The Japanese government could pave the road for the reopening of negotiations that have been suspended for seven and half years by deciding to offer 100,000 tons of rice to North Korea despite the opposition from some sectors, including the Liberal Democratic Party, which cited the questions over the North`s suspected kidnapping of Japanese citizens and missile tests had not made any progress to be solved.