Seoul to Resume Food Aid to N.Korea

      October 13, 2009 09:42

      The government has decided to resume food aid to North Korea, which was stopped in summer 2007, and is considering when to start and how much to give.

      A senior government official told the Chosun Ilbo, "It's the government's consistent policy to continue humanitarian aid to the North, so the government is considering giving it some food aid. But no decision has been made about how much and what kinds of food to give."

      Another government official said the government is considering giving "10,000 to 30,000 tons" of food. If Seoul were to resume food aid on the scale of previous administrations, which was between 300,000 and 400,000 tons, it "would need a strategic decision taking progress in the North Korean nuclear issue into consideration," a senior government source said.

      A security officer said, "The government isn't going to give aid to the North blindly. We'll watch if the North does more than apologize" for the death of six South Koreans as a result of its sudden discharge of water from a dam into the Imjin River, "and if it accepts our humanitarian aid suggestion at inter-Korean meetings such as Red Cross talks."

      Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said the government proposed a working-level meeting in Kaesong on Wednesday to discuss flood prevention in the Imjin River and a Red Cross meeting be held at Mt. Kumgang on Friday to discuss separated families.

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