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North Korea Asks For 400,000 Tons of Food Aid

Posted June. 04, 2004 21:48,   


The government is considering a plan to support North Korea’s request for humanitarian food aid at the 9th conference of the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Promotion Committee held in Pyongyang..

South Korean representative Park Heung-Ryeol, Deputy Director-General for Exchange and Cooperation of the Ministry of Unification said on June 4, “The North Korean chairman of the committee, Choi Young-Gun, contacted the South Korean chairman of the committee, Kim Gwang-Rim, Vice Minister of Finance and Economy and asked for food aid as in other years on the afternoon of June 3.”

In response to this, Vice Minister Kim explained to Mr. Choi that promoting an atmosphere favorable to humanitarian food aid is important, said Deputy Director-General Park.

South Korea supported North Korea with 400,000 tons of in-stock rice in 2002 and 2003. However, last month current stock of extra rice only amounts to 70,000 tons due to a decrease in rice production caused by Typoon Maemi.

Authorities of the Ministry of Unification said, “It is possible to send a mixture of food aid such as corn and wheat purchased abroad besides domestic rice, if the food aid request is granted.”

Meanwhile, both parties agreed to launch a management institution for the Gaeseong Industrial Complex within this month and to conduct an exhibition operation between North and South along the Donghae Line on the eastern coast and the Kyeongeui Line in the west in October. Both South and North negotiated late into the night in order to write out the protocol.

Seung-Ryun Kim srkim@donga.com