Second food shipment from NCCK travels by truck across the DMZ


[The National Council of Churches in (South) Korea recently sent a shipment of flour to the (North ) Korean Christian Federation via the heavily-guarded Demilitarize Zone at the site of the Kaesong Industrial Park. Because of South Korean government restrictions, the first shipment in May was sent through the Amity Foundation in China. The Rev. Mrs. Heawon Chae, Executive Coordinator of the Ecumenical Forum for Peace, Reunification and Development Cooperation on the Korean peninsula sent us this report. –CanKor.]

According to the report by 5 US based aid organizations which visited North Korea on September following last March visit, it is said that large numbers of people are suffering from chronic malnutrition and are facing with starvation due to reducing rations.

In this situation, the NCCK sent the second food shipment amounted 180 tons of wheat flour to the Korean Chrisitan Federation. The shipment was transferred to the KCF by truck at the Bongdong station, Gaesung city, just across the border between the North and the South.

Since the last shipment(172 tons of flour) dated May 18, 2011 through the Amity Foundation, on the basis of the government policy of humanitarian aid to North Korea limited only to infants and toddlers as well as the weak and vulnerable, it became to be possible through difficult effort including executive meeting with representatives of the KCF in Gaesung. This 180 tons of wheat flour is supposed to be delivered to nurseries and orphanages in Hyangsan-gun, Pyung An Buk-do.

The South Koran government has limited and controlled NGOs’ humanitarian activities with its strict policy such as that there should be a distribution plan, confirmation of monitoring from the partner in the North and acknowledgement of receipt from each nursery and orphanage.

Contrary to expectations, it took a long time, about 6 months, to accomplish this 2nd shipment.

For this time, the Korea Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea, the Anglican Church of Korea, the Assembly of God, the Ecumenical Forum for Korea (the United Church of Canada, the Methodist Church in Britain, the Hesse and Nassau Church in Germany), the Lawyers for Democratic society, the World Share donated.

On the occasion of coming of Christmas, we have plan to raise again for people who are facing with starvation in this coming cold winter.

Now I would like to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to your being with us and what you have shown to us, remembering of people in North Korea.

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