N.Korea in Veiled Appeal for Resumption of Aid

      September 28, 2009 13:07

      North Korea wants a "goodwill" response from South Korea now that reunions of separated families are resuming, it said Saturday. Yoo Chong-ha, the president of the South Korean Red Cross, on Sunday quoted his North Korean counterpart Jang Jae-on as saying, "The North has extended a special goodwill gesture in resuming family reunions. How about the South doing the same in return?"

      The two Red Cross chiefs met at the Mt. Kumgang resort, where the first round of reunions was held over the weekend. 

      Jang was apparently in a roundabout way asking for rice and fertilizer aid, suspended since the Lee Myung-bak administration's inauguration, since the Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun administrations had tacitly given such aid as a kind of payment for the family reunions.

      Yoo was talking to the press at the Mt. Kumgang Hotel. "The North did not specifically mention rice or fertilizer," he said. "I said that we will do whatever the Red Cross can, such as medical aid for the elderly and children. But I also said that matters like rice and fertilizer aid have to be decided by the government since they require spending taxpayers' money" he added.

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