Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rice to the North

Beginning June 29, the 21st minister-level talk between the north and south will be held in Seoul. The two sides managed to carry out most of the plans that they agreed upon in the 20th talk, such as test-running of each sides’ trains across the DMZ, and reunion of dispersed families which has been suspended for some eleven months. However, one problem is casting shadow upon the prospect of this coming talk, which is the south’s decision to delay (or reconsider) its food assistance to the north. As the north failed to show some understandable outcome regarding dismantlement of its nuclear facilities (even though the deadline for its completion have long been passed – NK was given 60day period since the February 13th accord), the U.S. and Japan showed their concerns about this matter, and the south could not neglect their apprehensions (and domestic concerns as well). Furthermore, the recent North Korean missile launch makes it more difficult to persuade the South Korean National Assembly and most importantly, the general public opinion regarding this shipment to North Korea.

1 comment:

rfishel said...

Speaking of the food assistance, does anyone know how it actually works? That is, are the people of North Korea even aware of this transfer of goods. I would think that the North Korean government would not want its people to know that it is taking assistance from another country, especially South Korea. Judging by the reading we have done so far on NK, my guess would be that they accept the food without the people knowing and then tell them that it is a gift from them, the NK government, and not any other country. But do any of you know for sure?