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Government Allocates 30 Billion Won to Aid Ryongcheon

Posted April. 29, 2004 21:18,   


A final decision was made to allocate 30 billion won in relief aid to North Korea at a national policy meeting chaired by Acting President Goh Kun on April 29. The sum earmarked includes 23.4 billion won for the thirteen items requested by the North and 6.6 billion won for shipping expenses.

It was additionally decided that a primary shipment of excavators, trucks, TVs and chalkboards will be sent to the Chinese city of Dandong early next week to aid in restoration following the Ryongcheon train blast.

Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun also stated that the government will send gasoline, diesel oil, iron bars and steel plates in two weeks time, in addition to sending bulldozers, window frames (including glass), and thermosetting ethylene, which are not currently in stock, next month.

Minister Jeong explained, “A container ship goes to and from Incheon and Dandong twice a week. The quickest means of delivering relief goods to Ryongcheon is taking them to Dandong by ship, and then to Ryongcheon through Sinuiju by truck.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade decided to establish a department to facilitate the transportation, sending employees of the South Korean Consulate General in Shenyang, China to Dandong. Though the relief aid will be funded mostly through private donations made to Red Cross, the government is planning to make up the difference for any financial shortages.

Minster Jeong said, “The aid coming in from the international community stands at approximately 6.6 million dollars, and the South is providing 24-25 million dollars.”

Meanwhile, the National Red Cross shipment of emergency medical supplies, which left the Incheon port on April 28, has reached North Korea’s Nampo port of South Pyeoungan Province and is currently being unloaded.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com