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Freezing Foreign Debts of Tsunami-hit Countries

Posted January. 09, 2005 22:47,   


Seven major industrial powers agreed to grant a moratorium on foreign debt to tsunami-hit countries in South Asia.

The United Nations started aid activities and appointed an official of coordination to command aid and restoration operations in tsunami-damaged areas.

Full-scale Aid Operations of the World International Community –

The G-7 finance ministers of the U.S., United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, and Canada agreed to grant debt moratorium to tsunami-affected nations, said British chancellor Gorden Brown on January 7. Great Britain is the presidency of the G-7 this year.

The G-7 finance ministers said in a statement that “since some of the victim countries will not have the ability to pay off their debts, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will not demand the victim countries pay off the debts until finishing an assessment of victim countries’ reconstruction and financial needs.”

According to the Norwegian news agency, the United Nations appointed Norwegian aid expert Janeil Mossan (34 years old) as a disaster relief coordinator to integrate and command the relief and reconstruction operations worldwide.

Mr. Mossan acted as a relief expert in Afghanistan, Tanzania, and the Balkans Peninsula and has worked as a governmental coordinator to support the Norwegian relief group in Zambia until recently.

It is reported that he will soon visit Thailand and grasp the situation in tsunami-stricken areas.

Thailand: “We Will Verify the Identity of All Casualties”-

Prime Minister of Thailand Thaksin Shinawatra said on January 8 that Thailand will verify the identity of all casualties in the tsunami-hit areas through DNA analysis.

The words of Prime Minister Thaksin came out when Interior Minster Bhokin Bhalakula said, “About 1,700 corpses of tsunami casualties are unidentified,” which caused confusion.

However, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said that “it will take a pretty long time to identify the corpses through DNA examination.”

According to Thai news, the Thai government will plan to use a microchip within corpses in order to confirm the identity of the corpses in detail. The appearance and features of the corpse will be included in the microchip.

Accordingly, it appears that the dead bodies of missing Koreans in Thailand will be identified even though it will take a long time.

When foreign news reported that the Thai government buried corpses without confirming their identity out of concern for the possibility of epidemic outbreaks, the Thai government officially denied this.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea said that there are 12 Korean casualties in the tsunami-hit areas, 8 missing people, and 92 people who have been out of contact with their whereabouts unknown.

Sung-Won Joo swon@donga.com