중앙데일리

North’s rice shipped to the South

Jan 05,2006
The first rice from a joint project in North Korea arrived at Gyeonggi provincial government offices yesterday following transport from Incheon port where it was unloaded last Tuesday. The first rice ever to come from the North was in 1984 as part of an aid shipment for flood damage.
The 1 metric ton of rice was part of 14.8 metric tons harvested from a joint North-South model farm project in Ryongsong district in Pyongyang. For the project, Gyeonggi province provided rice seeds, agricultural machinery, and technical know-how while the North provided the farmland and labor.
The joint venture took place after the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, with members from both the North and the South, made a pact concerning agricultural technology sharing last April. It is the first time that the two countries have participated in a cooperative venture for harvesting rice.
The rice is to be repackaged into 2 kilogram sacks and sent to organizations for the disabled, and national unification organizations and their affiliated groups. In addition, the rice is going to be made into rice cakes and kept for commemoration in the future.
In a statement that seemed to downplay current disputes over rice imports, Kang Min-su, an official at the Korean Catholic Farmers’ Association, said, “Amidst the problems we are having concerning import rice, we welcome the rice from North Korea because after all, we are one race.” Mr. Kim continued, “I hope this joint venture helps North Korea with their food problem as well as be a small step towards reconciliation.”


by Chung Chan-min


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