News

Voice of America 5/5/97

KOREA FOOD TALKS

BYLINE=TOM KORSKI
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:    

INTRO: NORTH AND SOUTH KOREAN RED 
CROSS OFFICIALS ARE DEADLOCKED OVER 
FOOD AID FOR THE NORTH.  INTERNATIONAL 
AGENCIES WARN NORTH KOREA IS FACING 
FAMINE WITHIN MONTHS, BUT NORTH AND 
SOUTH KOREAN RED CROSS REPRESENTATIVES 
HAVE FAILED TO COME TO TERMS ON THE 
LOGISTICS OF A MASSIVE AID PROGRAM. AS
TOM KORSKI REPORTS FROM BEIJING, 
AUTHORITIES DID AGREE TO KEEP TALKING.

TEXT:  RED CROSS FOOD TALKS BROKE DOWN 
IN BEIJING OVER THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS 
OF AID FOR NORTH KOREA.  THE SOUTH KOREAN
RED CROSS SAYS IT IS COMMITTED TO A MASSIVE
AID PROGRAM. BUT  NEGOTIATORS HAVE FAILED 
TO AGREE ON THE AMOUNT OF FOOD AID AND 
METHOD OF DELIVERY.   THE NORTH HAS ALSO 
REJECTED SOUTH KOREA'S DEMAND THAT IT BE 
PERMITTED TO SUPERVISE AID SHIPMENTS, TO 
INSURE SUPPLIES ARE NOT DIVERTED BY NORTH 
KOREA'S MILITARY.   DELEGATES ALSO 
DEADLOCKED OVER WHETHER THE FOOD AID  
SHOULD BE LABELED, SO THE RECIPIENTS IN THE 
NORTH KNOW IT WAS DONATED BY SOUTH KOREA . 
JOHAN SCHAAR IS REGIONAL CHIEF OF THE 
INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS.

       ///SCHAAR ACTUALITY///

WE WELL UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS SO.  
THIS IS A QUESTION OF THE  SAME PEOPLE, 
BASICALLY BROTHERS HERE, WANTING TO
BE SURE THAT THEIR FAMILY IN THE NORTH 
KNOW WHERE THIS IS COMING FROM.  WE CAN
UNDERSTAND THIS.

           ///END ACT///

THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS WARNS FOOD 
SHORTAGES ARE WIDESPREAD IN REMOTE AREAS 
OF THE NORTH. THE FOOD CRISIS PROMPTED 
RED CROSS OFFICIALS FROM NORTH AND SOUTH 
TO MEET  FOR THE FIRST TIME IN NEARLY FIVE Y
EARS, TO ARRANGE THE DELIVERY OF MILLIONS 
OF TONS OF GRAIN. 

UNITED NATIONS AGENCIES ARE APPEALING 
FOR 100-MILLION DOLLARS IN FOOD AID FOR
NORTH KOREA TO AVERT A POSSIBLE FAMINE 
BY SUMMER. NORTH KOREA BLAMES FOOD 
SHORTAGES ON WIDESPREAD FLOODING OVER 
THE PAST TWO YEARS.  WESTERN EXPERTS SAY 
THE SITUATION HAS BEEN MADE WORSE BY 
THE NORTH'S INEFFICIENT COLLECTIVE FARMING 
POLICIES.

THERE ARE NO RELIABLE FIRST-HAND REPORTS 
OF ACTUAL CONDITIONS IN THE NORTH.  
TRAVELLERS FROM CHINA HAVE RETURNED 
WITH UNCONFIRMED ACCOUNTS OF MASS 
HUNGER AND CANNIBALISM.  RED CROSS
OFFICIALS FROM NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA 
HAVE YET TO SET A DATE FOR THE 
RESUMPTION OF TALKS, BUT ACKNOWLEDGE 
THE NEED IS URGENT.  
(SIGNED)

NEB/TK/SFT/FC

05-May-97 6:09 AM EDT (1009 UTC)
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