South Korea Still Undecided on Rice Aid for North

The South Korean government has yet to decide whether or not to continue rice aid for North Korea. Photo by: Emily Barney / CC BY NC Emily BarneyCC BY NC

The South Korean government has yet to decide on whether to continue giving rice to North Korea as stocks remain in storage.

Rep. Lee Koon-hyon of the ruling Grand National Party on Aug. 24 urged the South Korean government to come up with a decision before the Chuseok holiday, Korea’s Thanksgiving, on Sept. 21-23.

“About 300,000 to 400,000 tons of rice that used to go to North Korea annually hasn’t gone through in the current administration so we estimate there’s about 1.5 million tons in excess in the inventory this year,” Lee said. “The government should consider some special measures … ,” he added.

Chun Hae-sung, the unification ministry’s representative, said Aug. 23, “As far as I know, nothing has been discussed.”

The administration of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak has ceased rice aid to the north since assuming office in 2008. The last rice delivery in bulk was in 2007, followed by occasional deliveries of corn, the Korea Times reports.

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  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.