Gov't Rules Out Prompt Food, Fertilizer Aid for N.Korea

      September 29, 2009 11:16

      The government is not considering substantial food or fertilizer aid to North Korea at the moment, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Park Sun-kyoo said Monday, ruling out an immediate reward to the North for resuming inter-Korean family reunions.

      Park was responding to a remark by National Intelligence Service chief Won Sei-hoon in the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee, who said he would "consider humanitarian measures equivalent" to the family reunions. The North over the weekend broadly hinted it expects the South to resume food and fertilizer aid as a "goodwill" gesture.

      Asked if the aid, which was suspended after the North's nuclear test in May, could be resumed if the family reunions become a regular fixture again, Park said, "That can be one of many things to be considered, but it cannot be the sole determining factor to decide whether or not we will send food and fertilizer aid to the North." He added the government's position is that it "will offer humanitarian aid when it is judged necessary."

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