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First Round of Flood Aid Delivered to North Korea Updated: 2010-09-16 00:00:00 KST

The first round of civilian emergency aid since recent flooding in North Korea was delivered to the border town of Gaeseong on Thursday.
The transport of 530 tons of flour on two dozen large trucks by Gyeonggi Province and non-governmental groups is also the first aid package from the South after it enforced punitive measures on Pyeonyang in May, in response to its sinking of the warship Cheonan.
And five South Korean personnel were permitted to cross the border to transfer the goods.


[Interview : Kim Moon-soo, Governor
Gyeonggi Province] "Many South Koreans have been wanting to provide assistance and there's been a delay but we're finally sending aid today. There are factors other than intent to consider."

The group had been waiting since July for the government to give the green light to supply food aid worth about 240-thousand US dollars… enough to feed some 30-thousand children and other vulnerable groups for a month.
It is estimated that some 28 million square meters of agricultural land was swamped by rainfall of up to 324 milimeters in Gaeseong.


[Interview : Kim Deog-ryong, Co-chair
Korean Council for Reconciliation & Cooperation] "Following the first round of aid, we plan to send additional second and third rounds in October. We hope nongovernmental efforts will eventually lead to continuous government-level assistance."

The resumption of aid delivery to the North on humanitarian grounds will likely be succeeded by a series of foodstuffs, such as rice and corn, being transported through the Dorasan Customs, Immigration and Quarantine office, on top of the South Korean Red Cross' pledged shipments of rice, cement and other supplies.
On Friday, more civilian aid consisting of 203 tons of rice is scheduled to be delivered to the flood-ravaged Shinuiju region.


[Reporter : Choi You-sun
yschoi@arirang.co.kr] "The South Korean government is maintaining a firm stance concerning its set of stringent measures against North Korea. But officials here say there are more applicants wishing to send provisions forecasting that there will be a significant increase in the amount of nongovernmental aid to the impoverished North.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."
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