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Sharing Grievances with Our Northern Brothers

Posted April. 23, 2004 21:21,   


“We cannot just neglect our brothers’ grievances.”

With the news of several thousand deaths due to a train explosion at Yongcheon station in North Korea, the citizens could not hide their surprise and lamentations.

A couple of citizen groups have already took action for aiding them by voluntarily making donations and several prominent people within various industries argued for the government to analyze the specific situation and for them to help as much as they can in the name of humanitarianism.

There are voluntary aid actions. Thirty North Korea-supporting citizen association groups plan to hold an emergency leader meeting today at 10 a.m. Good Friends, one of the affiliated organization, announced, “We agree on the fact that the situation is very urgent and although there is no specific way to solve this, we are planning to act through donations and aid.”

Also, Kim Hyung-suk, KWFW’s secretary general who received a democratic unification award - the 8th “Jung Il-young Lee Tae-young Democratic Citizenship Award”- decided to purchase medicine for burns with his award money of five million won to North Korea through Lee Hong-woo of the Lee foundation.

The foundation is planning to launch a donation movement as soon as possible and to send medicines and food to the north.

Korea National Red Cross also announced, “The International Red Cross Association’s East Asia delegates are trying to get hold of what is happening and when they ask for aid, we will give our full support including blood donations.”

A professional aid group, Good Neighbors’ Park Hyun-hong said, “We are going to discuss aid matters with North Korea in Pyongyang on April 26.”

Lee Seong-young of Good Neighbors, which helped many North Koreans in China, announced, “We are figuring out the current state through people who were born in Yongchun or Shinuijoo. We are preparing for food and medical aid.”

Citizens and netizens are also shouting for the government to take action towards their brothers. The bulletin boards of donga.com and Ministry of Unification contain flooding messages such as, “Get away from ideology, and do not spare governmental or citizen level aid,” and “There is no use arriving late, so send rescue groups as soon as possible.”

There were also comments stating that although aid is needed, analyzing the situation is more necessary.

CCEJ’s Goh Gye-hyun stressed, “Humanitarian aid is natural, however, understanding the scale of damage is more urgent.”

Some even said humanitarian aid will result in improved North and South relationship. Korea University professor Kim Yern-chul said, “The damage seems to be large. More aid rather than sending food is needed such as restoring the accident area and rebuilding the city.”

Yonsei University Professor Yang Seong-ham advised, “Our government offering to help first, will assist in solving future nuclear problems.”