Viewing cable 06SEOUL2729
Title: ROKG ANNOUNCES FLOOD ASSISTANCE TO NORTH KOREA

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06SEOUL27292006-08-11 09:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Seoul
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O 110929Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY SEOUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9627
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1065
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 7453
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1144
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 1320
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA J5 SEOUL KOR
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA J2 SEOUL KOR
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SCJS SEOUL KOR
C O N F I D E N T I A L SEOUL 002729 
 
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E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/18/2015 
TAGS: PGOV ECON KS KN
SUBJECT: ROKG ANNOUNCES FLOOD ASSISTANCE TO NORTH KOREA 
 
REF: SEOUL 2684 
 
Classified By: A/DCM Joseph Y. Yun.  Reasons 1.4 (b), (d). 
 
¶1.  (C) On August 11, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
North American Affairs Division I Director Hahn Choong-hee 
provided the Embassy with the Ministry of Unification (MOU) 
press release announcing that the ROKG has decided to provide 
USD 10 million (10 billion SKW) of matching flood relief to 
North Korea through NGOs (text in para 3).  Next week, Seoul 
is expected to decide how much assistance it will also 
provide via Red Cross channels, which will likely be in the 
form of rice, probably quite large quantities.  Separately, 
Deputy Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se confirmed to A/DCM that 
Seoul opted for a two-prong approach of (1) matching South 
Korean NGO relief assistance and (2) sending additional aid 
through the Red Cross. 
 
¶2.  (C) COMMENT: ROK efforts to paint this support as 
"emergency aid" indicates that Seoul sees that renewed 
assistance risks softening the "tough" ROKG response to the 
DPRK missile launches.  By citing ROK aid in 2004 after an 
explosion at a North Korean train station and DPRK aid in 
1984 following floods in the South, the MOU press release 
underscores the ROKG attempt to stress the humanitarian 
nature of this decision.  END COMMENT. 
 
TEXT OF 8/11 UNIFICATION MINISTRY PRESS RELEASE 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
¶3.  (U) Government Decides to Participate in Emergency Relief 
for North Korea Flood Damage 
 
Today, the 5th general conference of the "Government-Private 
Council for North Korean Assistance," which is a consultative 
body for humanitarian aid groups and the government, was held 
at the central government complex. 
 
Today's conference was led by Hong Jeong-gil, Chairman of the 
"Private Council for North Korean Cooperation" from the 
private sector, and MOU Deputy Minister Shin Un-sang. 
Officials from relevant ministries such as the Ministry of 
Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Health and 
Welfare, and representatives from North Korean aid groups 
also participated. 
 
At today's conference, where emergency relief for North 
Korean flood damage was discussed, the Private Council for 
North Korean Cooperation said that it had made plans to send 
9.86 billion won worth of relief goods such as daily 
necessities and medical goods (with the participation of the 
National Reconciliation Committee) to the North, and asked 
for government assistance. 
 
--The Government decided to participate in the emergency 
relief project for humanitarian purposes, taking into 
consideration the seriousness of the flood damage, and the 
calls for assistance by the political circle and all levels 
of the society. 
 
The assistance volume that the government will contribute to 
the private groups will be around 10 billion won in matching 
funds, taking into consideration the assistance made by the 
private groups. 
 
--Relief items will be daily necessities, medical goods, and 
basic flood recovery equipment.  Detailed items and volume 
will be decided through private-pubic working-level meetings. 
 
Since the (South) Korean Red Cross requested government 
participation by the government, the government will hold 
discussions with the Korean Red Cross next week, and 
determine the items, volume, and timing of assistance. 
 
Like the rehabilitation aid for the Ryonchong (train station) 
disaster, the upcoming assistance will be made purely for 
humanitarian purposes. 
 
--2004 Ryongchong: 150 deceased, 1,300 injured, 89,100 houses 
destroyed.  Private assistance 28.3 billion won and Korean 
Red Cross 42.1 billion won: Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund 
3.34 billion won, special budget for grain management 7.4 
billion won, national donations 17 billion won, aid given by 
private sector 13.7 billion won.  Total 70 billion won. 
 
--2004 Ryongchong aid (cont'd): 5,000 metric tons of rice, 
5,000 metric tons of wheat flour, as well as blankets, 
instant noodles, excavators, and trucks. 
 
--In 1984 following floods in South Korea, North Korea sent 
7,300 metric tons of rice, 500,000 square meters of fabric, 
and 100,000 metric tons of cement.  END TEXT. 
VERSHBOW