Monday, September 19, 2011

Summary of North Korean Food Aid Debate in August 2011

August 2

The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, a South Korean NGO, sent 300 tons of flour aid to North Korea.

August 3

South Korea offered $4.7 million in medical supplies and other necessities for flood relief; however, additional request for building materials in aid was rejected by Seoul. Representatives from the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation begin their visit to Sariwon to monitor the distribution of aid dispatched from South Korea.

August 4

Deputy spokesperson Mark Toner stated that the U.S. is still assessing “whether [US] can provide food assistance [to North Korea] in a way that’s consistent with [US] policy.” Flood aid was supposedly not being considered during the August 4 press briefing

August 9

The EU donated 200,000 Euros in flood aid. The new aid comes in addition to the food aid worth 10 million Euros sent by the EU in July.

August 10

Senior South Korean official noted North Korea’s food situation is not that serious compared to previous years

August 11

State Department spokesperson noted although the United States may provide food aid, the North Korean regime still holds "primary responsibility" for feeding its people in the long term. The spokesperson also noted that better relations were necessary for greater cooperation in food security and the “best route would be back to engagement with the international community, which would allow trade and allow an open system”

August 15

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said that South Korea’s decision to provide food aid was a sovereign decision, implying that Washington and Seoul are not on the same page

August 18

US offered $900,000 in emergency flood assistance to North Korea. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said "It includes things like plastic sheeting, tents," but would not include food, which is being “internally reviewed.”

Meanwhile, ROK ministry of Unification announced that The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation submitted a video it recorded from Aug. 3-6 of North Koreans distributing South Korean food aid to its people.

August 20

The first shipment of 3,560 metric tons of milling wheat arrived in North Korea from Russia. Russia’s United Grain plans to deliver 50,000 tons of wheat from ports in Vladivostok and Novorossiysk.

August 20

Kim Jong Il arrived in Russia to attend a meeting with President Medvedev.

August 22

North Korean Red Cross made an emergency appeal for £ 2.7 million. At the same time, North Korea ordered all 14 South Korean workers at Geumgang resort to leave and said it would scrap all South Korean assets in the region.

August 24

During his meeting with President Medvedev in Ulan Ude, Kim Jong Il promised to work on introducing a moratorium on testing and spent nuclear fuel processing. Senior Washington official said that the offer was “welcome but ... insufficient” to return to the negotiating tables.


No notable discussion on North Korean food aid.

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