June 24, 2015

South Korea says it will send aid to North Korea during its worst drought in a century under one condition -- just ask for it

North Korea recently expressed through its Korean Central News Agency that it is in the midst of its worst drought in over 100 years and South Korea is willing to offer help under one simple condition — just ask.
Foreign Minister and authority on inter-Korean ties Hong Yong-pyo spoke on behalf of South Korea saying that they will be monitoring the drought situation in the North and will offer aid if it is requested according to Yonhap News Agency.
North Korea’s dramatic announcement regarding the drought was seen by many countries as a means of asking for help without actually requesting it outright. So far there has been a mixed response.
The U.S. recently stated that they had looked into the claims and had no plans to provide any assistance based on the information they had gathered.
It has offered food aid to North Korea in the past as recent as 2012 in return for halting both the country’s nuclear weapons program and missile development.
North Korea violated the agreement and the offer was withdrawn.
Tensions have been especially high between the two countries due to the North’s ongoing claims of nuclear weapons development as well as human rights abuses.
China on the other hand said that it does plan to provide aid in the form of food as one of the North’s few allies.
The most recent reports from the United Nations claims that about 70 percent of North Korea’s 24.6 million people are significantly affected by the food shortages.
Although Hong did not outline the exact form of help the South would be willing to provide, he hopes that the actions could spark a discussion between the two countries to ease growing tensions.

1 comment:

  1. We should not be surprised that NK is in such dire straits, since there is nothing in the ruling elites incentives to look ahead and mitigate the effects of a natural disaster. Their entire focus is on maintaining power and extracting the maximum amount of wealth from the population.

    If you have time and interest, I highly recommend this 48-minute documentary, "Money and Power in North Korea: Hidden Economy": It is one of the most highly extractive systems in the world, where essentially the entire population is ruthlessly enslaved by a tiny ruling elite. In a reversal of Western corruption, instead of bribes flowing from corporations to government, gifts flow from the dictator to the lackeys who enforce the slavery.