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Three Times Larger Budget for North Korean Aid Next Year

Three Times Larger Budget for North Korean Aid Next Year

Posted May. 13, 2001 07:52,   


The totality of the North Korean aid budget, requested to the Ministry of Planning and Budget by the four related ministries of the government including the Ministry of Finance and Economy, Ministry of Unification, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Ministry of Heath and Welfare, is exceeding 1,816,800,000 won. Rep. Lee Kang-Du (Grand National Party) opened this information to the public. Rep. Lee, member of the budget committee of the National Assembly, had recently obtained the related material from the Ministry of Planning and Budget.

This amount will be 6.8 times larger than the total aid of President Kim’s last year administration. President Kim Dae-Jung remarked at an interview with SBS last November that the South ``has aided 19 million dollars`` during his administration. Since the planned budget for the North Korean aid is also three time larger than the money spent for that purpose this year, disputes about pork-barreling administration could be brought about.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy requested 830 billion won for the subsidiary support for Gaesung industrial complex, 80 billion won for economic cooperation projects, and 90 million won for the support of processing trade. Since the Ministry requested 600 billion won from the government-owned Korea Development Bank, public censure on the expedient method seems to follow.

The Ministry of Unification requested 800 billion won of the South-North Cooperation Fund to subsidize the economic loss of various exchange projects and to support the citizen’s mutual visits. The total amount is increased 1.6 times from 500 billion won this year.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also requested 2.7 billion won for the South-North sport exchange, 420 million won for the library exchange project, 300 million won for the art exhibition of the North Korean masterpieces. The Ministry of Health and Welfare requested 2.2 billion won for a joint project of Malaria prevention.

Rep. Lee pointed out, ``The aid for the Gaesung industrial complex has to be implemented step by step after a thorough investigation of its economic validity.`` He said that unreasonable massive aid to the North will bring about a suspicion of the preferential treatment to Hyundai. Lee also raised a question as to the intention of the government as using these projects that are related to the North Korea for the manipulation of the presidential election next year.

Sun Dae-In eodls@donga.com