Study aid for the NorthIt has been revealed that the South Korean government proposed to provide 50,000 tons of corn to North Korea, but the North hasn’t given a clear answer for three weeks. The government made the right move, although it seems belated. With Seoul showing that it doesn’t ignore starving North Korean residents, South Korea won’t be accused by the international community of not providing humanitarian aid to them.
As for providing food to North Korea, the South Korean government could have declared that it was willing to provide humanitarian aid to the North at any time. But the incumbent administration handled it differently. It said that North Korea must first request aid to get it. This precondition was based on a haughty belief that the needy would have to ask for help sooner or later. But North Korea didn’t act as the South expected. The North ignored the South’s precondition, made a concession over the nuclear issue and got food from the United States instead.
On top of this, as rumor spreads that North Koreans are suffering from hunger, the South Korean government changed its policy.
As it turns out, the one who is receiving aid says nothing, but the one who provides aid is begging for the other to accept it. The South Korean government must see the result of its simplistic thinking. It should learn more about the traits of the North Korean regime, which may be poor but is nonetheless very proud.
Pyongyang must accept South Korea’s proposal if it cares about ordinary residents. Ten years ago, tens of thousands of people starved to death. Pyongyang can’t and shouldn’t let the residents carry out another arduous march. The height limit for joining the North Korean military was 150 centimeters (4-foot-9) and now it has been lowered to 148 centimeters. This is evidence of hardship in the country, which is painful for all Koreans. The North Korean regime must end propaganda politics with slogans like, “Let’s smile even though the journey is tough.” Instead it must try to find ways to feed its people.
Since the Lee Myung-bak administration took office, South and North Korea have been testing each other and playing a tug-of-war. The government believes that it is the people’s consensus to change the former administrations’ practice of shoveling aid to the North. It thus has mutualism as the basis for its North Korea policy.
It is natural that the North resists as it has become accustomed to support from the previous South Korean administrations.