Religious groups demand aid for North
South 'must resume humanitarian supplies to famine-hit people across the border'
Five religious representatives at the press conference
ucanews.com reporter, Seoul
April 12, 2011
A multi-faith group has asked the government to resume humanitarian aid to North Koreans who are suffering from hunger. Religious Solidarity for Reconciliation and Peace of Korea held a press conference at the Korea Press Center in Seoul today. In the conference, religious leaders from Buddhism, Catholicism, Chondogyo, Protestantism and Won-Buddhism announced that 658 religious people signed a petition to appeal to the government to resume humanitarian aid to the North. Venerable Pomnyun, representative of the Peace Foundation, reported that the North has had difficulty in obtaining food because of big floods. And food prices are 100 times higher than before the currency reform in the North in 2009, he noted, so many North Koreans are dying of hunger. Also, North Korea has asked for food aid to the US and international organizations recently, he said. Father Augustine Ham Sei-ung, former president of the Korea Democracy Foundation told the conference that “international organizations like Caritas Hong Kong and Germany have been actively aiding North Koreans but our concern for the North has been decreasing, which is shameful.” He argued that resuming humanitarian aid to the North is "the demand of the times and our duty.” At the end of the conference, the participants issued a statement and urged the government to allow civil groups to help North Koreans. KO13947.1649