S. Korea to complete fertilizer aid to N. Korea late this month


South Korea will complete shipments of 300,000 tons of fertilizer aid to North Korea late this month, the Unification Minister said Monday.

“As of last week, 233,800 tons of fertilizer had been shipped to North Korea. By June 20, the planned shipments will be completed,” said a ministry official on the usual condition of anonymity.

South Korea resumed shipments of fertilizer and other emergency aid to the North in late March, but it withheld rice aid as an inducement for North Korea to fulfill its promise to shut down its main nuclear reactor as part of the landmark February 13 agreement.

South Korea suspended its food and fertilizer aid to North Korea after the North conducted missile tests in July. Resumption of the aid was blocked due to the North’s nuclear bomb test in October.

According to a recent think tank report, North Korea could run short of up to one third of the food it needs this year if South Korea and other countries withhold aid.

Data from the World Food Program and the Unification Ministry show that the North will need between 5.24 million tons and 6.47 million tons of food this year. Depending on the weather, the availability of fertilizer and other factors, the communist state may only be able to produce 4.3 million tons of food by itself, the report said.


Comments are closed.