South Korea to send 50,000 tonnes of rice to North

20 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

SEOUL: South Korea said Wednesday it will send 50,000 tonnes of rice to North Korea via the World Food Programme to help the country cope with a severe food shortage, reports AFP.

The isolated, impoverished North—which is under several sets of sanctions over its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes—has long struggled to feed itself and suffers chronic food shortages.

“The government cannot ignore the plight among North Korean people,” said Seoul’s unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations.

It will be the first time the South has provided food aid to the North since 2010, when it sent 5,000 tonnes of rice across the border.

It comes after a joint report last month by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and WFP that said about 10.1 million North Koreans — 40 percent of the population—were suffering from severe food shortages and that conditions could be exacerbated in the absence of aid.