China bids to heal N Korea famine with trucks of rice
SEOUL - Agence France-PresseLong convoys of Chinese lorries laden with rice were seen entering North Korea after Beijing reportedly agreed to provide major food aid to Pyongyang’s new regime, a South Korean activist said yesterday.
Thousands of lorries delivered rice to the hungry North starting on Jan. 9, said Do Hee-Yoon of the Seoul-based Citizens’ Coalition for Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees. A Japanese newspaper said Jan. 30 Chinese leaders had agreed on the aid at a meeting on Dec. 20, the day after North Korea announced the death of its longtime leader Kim Jong-il. The North suffered famine in the mid-1990s which killed hundreds of thousands and has battled persistent food shortages ever since.
“Trucks laden with rice sacks were seen crossing the border into the North at various places including Tumen, Dandong and Jian,” Do said. “The delivery of rice aid was apparently completed within a pretty short timespan,” he said, adding it was quite rare for China to provide the North with such massive food aid at one go.