North Korea rejects flood relief from South
Updated: 2006-08-02 10:28 SEOUL, South Korea - North
Korea's Red Cross has rejected an offer from its South Korean counterpart for
aid to flood victims, a South Korean Red Cross official said Wednesday.
North Korea "expressed thanks for Seoul's offer" but said "it will handle the
recovery efforts from recent floods by itself," a senior North Korean Red Cross
official said, according to the South Korean Red Cross.
The two Koreas exchanged messages through the Pyongyang office of the
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies last week, the
South Korean official said, asking not to be identified citing policy.
Floods caused by heavy rains in mid-July killed at least 154 North Koreans
and left another 127 or more missing, according to the United Nations. North
Korea's official media has said the disaster caused hundreds of casualties as
well as cutting off roads, bridges, railroads and communications.
South Korean Red Cross chief Han Wan-sang had expressed its intention to
provide relief aid to the impoverished communist neighbor once the North makes a
Despite the rejection, the Red Cross official said South Korea would
eventually provide humanitarian assistance to the North even if there were no
Separately, JTS Korea, a Seoul-based private relief agency, said Tuesday it
would ship emergency goods to the North including 200 tons of flour, 38,000
packs of instant noodles and 15,000 pieces of clothing, socks and candles, as
well as medicines and blankets.
It will be the first South Korean shipment of relief goods to North Korea
since the floods, said agency spokeswoman Hun Hee-ryun. The first shipment is
scheduled for to depart Thursday.
South Korea, a key provider of rice and fertilizer aid to the North, recently
suspended that aid to protest Pyongyang's refusal to discuss its missile
launches in early July that drew international condemnation and raised regional