October 05, 2011 09:23
Seoul on Tuesday dropped attempts to send aid to victims of floods that hit North Korea's Hwanghae and Gangwon provinces this summer because the North ignored the offer.
A Unification Ministry official said, "We repeatedly expressed our intention to send aid to North Korean flood victims, but the North made no response to our offer. There is no point waiting any longer, so we are terminating the process."
The government had planned to deliver W5 billion (US$1=W1,194) worth of aid including 1.4 million cans of baby food, 300,000 bags of snacks, 1.92 million Choco Pies (chocolate coated marshmallows), and 1.6 million instant noodle bags to the North. Choco Pies are for some reason considered a delicacy in North Korea.
Seoul sent a message to Pyongyang on Sept. 6 saying it wanted to deliver a first shipment of 200,000 cans of baby food, but there had been no response for nearly a month.
"The North Korean regime has no intention of accepting any materials other than rice and cement," which can easily be diverted to the military to tighten its hold on power, a South Korean government official said. "The regime doesn't seem to care about the flood victims' suffering at all."
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