Bishops eye flour aid to North Korea

Money raised at special Mass to provide 100 tons of food relief

Stephen Hong, Seoul, Korea

June 30, 2011

Korean bishops say they intend to send 100 tons of flour in aid to North Korea using money collected recently at a special Mass dedicated to peace and reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. Father Raphael Seo Jong-yeob, executive secretary of the Korean bishops’ Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, handed over 50 million won (US$46,000) yesterday to Father Simeon Lee Jong-Keon, secretary of Caritas Korea International (CKI), the Korean bishops’ first official foreign relief agency. During the Mass, which around 20,000 Catholics attended, a total of 77 million won was collected. The remaining 27 million won will be spent on helping North Korean defectors in South Korea. The committee said yesterday they will seek unification ministry approval to ship the flour to North Korea soon.