Friday, July 18, 2008

World Food Programme chief seeks more aid for North Korea

An executive of the UN’s food agency, the World Food Programme (WFP), is in South Korea to seek its help in feeding hungry North Korea. Jean-Pierre de Margerie, the World Food Programme (WFP) country director for North Korea, will ask Seoul to contribute to a greatly expanded food program by the UN agency.

The WFP announced last month it had received Pyongyang’s permission to expand its aid to more than 5 million people — out of a total population of 23 million — from the 1.2 million currently being helped.

The US is providing 500,000 tonnes of food aid, 80 percent of it through the WFP.

The hardline communist North cut off official ties with South Korea’s new conservative government and rebuffed an offer of 50,000 tonnes of corn in bilateral aid. Relations worsened further last week when a North Korean soldier shot dead a housewife who strayed into a military zone when on holiday at the Mount Kumgang resort.

[Taipei Times]

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