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New aid to North hits delay

Off-on approval for aid across border causes more delays

New aid to North hits delay
Sacks of flour sent to North Korea in July
Stephen Hong, Seoul

September 9, 2011

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A plan by Korean bishops to send more food aid to the flood-ravaged North has been delayed after the South Korean government showed reluctance to grant approval. The Committee for the Reconciliation of the Korean People, under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea, said yesterday that the new aid plan was approved on September 5. However, Sister Oh Hye-jeong, secretary general of the committee, said delivery of the aid has been held up by the Unification Ministry. She said the aid, which was agreed between committee members and their counterparts from the (North Korean Roman Catholics Association) in Kaesong on August 24, was “urgently needed.” The committee has already sent 100 tons of flour, which was delivered to a hospital and day-care center in Hwanghaenam-do province on July 28. Sister Oh said the new plan aimed to send about 30 million won (US$27,000) in additional supplies. All economic assistance to the North was banned last year following North Korean attacks on a gunship and the shelling of Yeonpyeong island. The government initiated a partial lifting of the ban in July. Related reports: Bishops eye flour aid to North Korea
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