Disasters & Accidents

Seoul offers Pyongyang flood recovery assistance

Seoul, Aug 9 (EFE).- Seoul on Monday offered to assist in North Korea’s flood recovery efforts and raised multiple options for the channeling of aid into the country.

In a press conference, unification ministry spokesperson Lee Jong-joo said South Korea has helped its neighbor on previous occasions when they have suffered similar disasters.

“This time as well, it will also figure out damage in the North and its needs for support while leaving all the possibilities open, including cooperation through state and civilian channels and international organizations, and draw up concrete cooperative measures,” Lee said, according to Yonhap news agency.

Lee’s pledge came a day after official North Korean media reported that Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un ordered maximum state support for the country’s hard-hit northeast.

Heavy rains that lashed the area between Aug. 1-2 triggered floods that destroyed around 1,700 houses and forced the evacuation of around 5,000 people.

The calamity has damaged a large number of bridges, roads and agricultural lands in South Hamyong, according to state media.

The floods came after the country witnessed an intense heat wave last month, which heavily affected crops at a time when the country is suffering a food crisis, as per Kim’s own admission.

The regime, which sealed the country’s borders at the beginning of the pandemic, has since not accepted any kind of financial or material aid offered by Seoul, including vaccines.

However, two weeks ago Pyongyang agreed to restore its hotlines with Seoul more than a year after severing them in protest of South Korean activists sending anti-regime propaganda balloons across the border.

This reestablishment of communication opens the door for both neighbors, technically still at war, to make progress in their relations and in the dialog on denuclearization. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button