Saturday, September 02, 2006

Relief goods mirror plight of stunted North Koreans

The shipment-in-waiting is for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of North Koreans who were made homeless in massive floods in mid-July.

Thousands of used but clean shirts, pants and other clothes are stacked in big heaps in warehouses outside Seoul to be sent to poverty-stricken North Korea. After years of dealing with North Korea, South Korean donors have learned that helping the communist country is not just about sending large quantities of supplies. It requires certain "customization."

"The maximum size of clothes we send to North Korea is 'large,'" said Hyun Il-hyun, secretary at Join Together Society, another South Korean relief agency, "We know anything bigger, like 'extra large' or 'extra extra large,' won't fit North Koreans."

"What will fit elementary school kids in South Korea will usually fit North Korean middle-schoolers," she said. "Most North Korean adults will fit well into what South Korean teenagers wear."

[Yonhap News]

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