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Preparations to Help North Korea

Posted April. 23, 2004 21:01,   


Concerning the explosion at Yongcheon Station in North Korea, Unification Minister Cheong Se-hyun revealed on April 23 that “the ROK is willing to help with fraternal love and humanity. If necessary, we will lend support with construction equipment as well.”

The administration discussed a plan to help North Korea at a standing committee meeting of the National Security Council. The discussion was about the restoration of the railway around Yongcheon Station, the provision of necessities and medical supplies, and the dispatch of volunteers and rescue parties.

“They must need emergency goods such as daily necessities and medical supplies. We will help after grasping the situation from the channel between South and North,” said Cheong at a regular briefing, not mentioning specific time or scale.

Cheong also said at a central standing committee meeting of Uri Party that “the administration will positively accept the opinion of the Uri Party on the support of medical supplies and the dispatch of medical and rescue teams.”

“It is a tragic accident. I am truly sorry for the victims,” Acting President Goh-kun said before Cheong’s announcements.

Meanwhile, the Korean National Red Cross reported, “It was confirmed that the members of the International Federation of the Red Cross residing in Pyongyang had left for Yongcheon on the morning of April 23.”

“The president of the KNRC, who is staying in Pyongyang, ordered by telephone to prepare relief goods such as blankets and clothes,” said an official from the KNRC.

Young-Hae Choi Seung-Ryun Kim yhchoi65@donga.com srkim@donga.com