Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Samaritan’s Purse sends Boeing 747 of relief aid to North Korea

Franklin Graham’s international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse has chartered a Boeing 747 cargo jet to airlift some 90 tons of relief and medical supplies from the United States to North Korea in response to the massive flooding there.

Earlier this month, nearly 260,000 people in northeastern China and North Korea fled their homes as weeks of torrential rainfall caused the Yalu River to swell over its banks, according to reports by state news outlets. The massive flooding swamped farmland, houses and public buildings in North Korea’s northwestern city of Sinuiju and adjacent areas.

“Relations between the governments of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the U.S. have been strained, but despite our political differences, the people of North Korea are suffering from torrential floods that have ruined crops, washed out bridges and destroyed homes,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, referring to North Korea by its formal name.

“While much of the world’s attention is on Pakistan, and rightfully so, the suffering of the people in North Korea cannot be overlooked,” the evangelist added.

Graham, who has traveled three times to the country rarely visited by Americans, has a long history in the DPRK, going back as far as 1934 when his mother, Ruth Bell Graham, attended a mission school in Pyongyang. His father, renowned preacher Billy Graham, visited in 1992 and 1994, meeting with President Kim Il Sung.

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