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Korean Red Cross, “We Are Not an Errand Boy of the Government”

Korean Red Cross, “We Are Not an Errand Boy of the Government”

Posted October. 13, 2004 23:10,   


The president of the Korean Red Cross Lee Yoon-gu (75), who is serving as a window for resolving the separated inter-Korea family issue and humanitarian aid to North Korea, criticized on October 12, “The government should not resolve the separated family issue through politics.”

After attending a seminar hosted by the Council for the Exchange of Inter-Korea Separated Families at the conference hall of Sejong Center, Seoul on the same day, Lee clarified, “The Korean Red Cross will lead the reunion of separated families so the government should not try to tune and control the issue, but instead actively support the Red Cross.”

He stressed, “It is not right that the Red Cross is deemed as serving the government’s errands. From now on, the Korean Red Cross will step forward and actively take the initiative.”

“North Korea’s argument that it cannot ‘actively address the separated family issue because it is not a problem confined only to humanitarianism but various internal factors’ is only a pretext. The separated families must be allowed to meet each other under humanitarian principles and without any condition and limits,” Lee said.

This day’s statement by Lee seems to be an expression of dissatisfaction towards the stalemate in the separated family issue due to the South Korean government’s lukewarm attitude and the interruption of the talks between the inter-Korea authorities.

However, an authority of the Korean Red Cross explained yesterday that the president’s words “do not mean that the Red Cross will independently push ahead with North Korea projects, including the separated family issue, without the government.”