Kim Jong II with European Union folks
BRUSSELS — The European Union said Monday it will restart food aid to North Korea after the country’s repressive communist regime agreed to an unprecedented monitoring system as it suffers through its worst food crisis in years.
The EU will send euro10 million ($14.5 million) in food aid to North Korea, after food production in the country hit a new low and an EU mission of experts confirmed a growing hunger crisis in northern and eastern provinces. An unusually cold winter and other severe weather conditions have diminished recent harvests in North Korea, while food aid from China, which has experienced droughts and floods recently, has also declined.
“The purpose of this aid package is to save the lives of at least 650,000 people who could otherwise die from lack of food,” Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said in a statement.
The EU stopped humanitarian aid to North Korea in 2008, when it determined that it was no longer necessary. It has, however, continued to support long-term nutrition projects in the country, which has had chronic food problem for years.
Because of the repressive and closed-off nature of the North Korean regime, aid to the country has long been controversial. But following warnings from the United Nations and the World Food Program, EU experts traveled to North Korea in June to examine the situation and together with the World Food Program, which will manage the aid package, negotiated a strict monitoring system with national authorities.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
-Ex VP Atiku Abubakar on Restructuring.
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