Red Cross to send flood aid to North

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Red Cross to send flood aid to North



The South Korean Red Cross will send relief aid to North Korea to help victims of the recent torrential rain, but it will not send cement or heavy equipment, which the North asked for.

The Ministry of Unification said yesterday that the Red Cross had sent a third statement to its counterpart in the North, announcing it would send 5 billion won ($4.6 million) worth of emergency food supplies and not other daily necessities and medical supplies the Red Cross had initially planned to send.

The statement included a detailed list of what would be given to North Korea, including cookies for infants, instant noodles and Choco Pies.

“We feel that the North will respond positively to this offer,” a Unification Ministry official said yesterday.

The South Korean Red Cross said the aid would be sent via rail lines that traverse the inter-Korean border along the eastern and western coasts, and that the exact delivery date would be confirmed later.

“A preparation period of three to four weeks must be taken into consideration for the final delivery date,” the Red Cross said. “We hope that the goods will reach those affected by the floods in time.”

The first delivery is expected to be made around September.

The statement was sent a week after the Red Cross made its initial offer to send medical supplies and other necessities, saying that it felt the need to help those in rain-stricken areas in North Korea’s Kangwon and North and South Hwanghae provinces.

The North Korean Red Cross responded the next day, demanding food, cement and equipment and telling South Korea to be “generous like last time,” referring to last year’s flood aid. Roughly four hours later, the South explained that the original aid also contained food.

South Korea’s Red Cross offered $8.4 million in aid last year after the North’s northwestern region was severely flooded.

A Unification Ministry official said on Aug. 4 that cement, flour and rice were not being considered for North Korea. The official also predicted that the North would not deny the aid even if what it asked for was not included.

North Korea’s official broadcaster has been frequently reporting flood damages since the country saw heavy rain during the second half of July. Korean Central Television said on Aug. 5 that roughly 30 people died from the torrential rain.

By Christine Kim []

한글 관련 기사 [연합뉴스]

라면ㆍ초코파이…수해지원 품목 北에 전달

北반응 주목
생필ㆍ의약품 빼고 긴급구호식품 위주

정부는 10일 대북 수해지원과 관련해 지원품목을 담은 대북 통지문을 발송했다.

통일부 당국자는 "오늘 오후 3시께 대한적십자사 총재 명의로 북측에 구체적인 지원품목을 담은 통지문을 전달했고, 북측이 접수했다"고 밝혔다.

지원 품목은 영유아용 영양식(140만개)과 과자(30만개), 초코파이(192만개), 라면(160만개) 등 총 50억원 규모다. 경의선과 동해선 육로를 통해 각각 북측 황해도와 강원도에 전달될 예정이다.

당초 계획에 포함됐던 생필품과 의약품은 빠지고 긴급 구호식품 위주로 구성됐다.

구체적인 전달시기는 3~4주간의 준비기간을 고려해 별도로 통보하기로 했다. 교류협력추진협의회의 남북협력기금 집행 의결과 물품 구매 등을 감안하면 첫 지원물품은 9월 초에 전달될 것으로 보인다.

정부는 "북한 수해 주민에게 지원물자가 조속히 전달될 수 있기를 기대한다"고 밝혔다.

이 같은 지원품목 리스트 전달에 대한 북한의 반응이 주목된다. 북측은 앞서 한적의 대북 수해지원 제의에 대해 식량과 시멘트, 장비를 포함해 '통 크게 지원해달라'고 요구했었다.

통일부 당국자는 "북측이 요구한 식량과 시멘트는 빠졌지만, 의약품을 제외하고 긴급 구호식품 위주로 북측이 요구한 대로 품목을 일부 조정했다"면서 "지원계획에 대해 북측이 동의해올 것으로 본다"고 말했다.

정부는 대북 수해지원을 위해 지난 3일 대한적십자사 명의의 대북 통지문을 통해 생필품과 의약품 등 50억원 상당의 물품을 경의선과 동해선 육로를 통해 지원하겠다고 북측에 제의했다.

북측 조선적십자회는 4일 오전 식량과 시멘트 등 물자와 장비를 요구했지만 정부는 같은 날 오후 통지문을 보내 50억원 규모의 기존 지원입장을 재차 전달했다.

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