U.S. medical aid arrives in flood-stricken N. Korea: report


North Korea’s foreign minister Friday met with a U.S. delegation bringing emergency medical supplies to help North Korean victims of recent floods, the North’s official news outlet said.

The reclusive country has appealed to the international community for assistance to cope with massive flooding caused by heavy downpours that left at least 600 people dead or missing and about 100,000 people homeless in early August. The United Nations is seeking US$14 million to provide North Korea with food, medicine, drinking water and other emergency goods.

“Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun met with guests from the United States who visited with emergency medical aid equipment donated by the U.S. administration and the non-governmental organization Samaritan’s Purse with regard to flood damage at the Mansudae Assembly hall,” said the one-sentence report carried by the Korean Central News Agency. It did not identify the U.S. guests.

Washington has so far pledged US$100,000 for the U.N. initiative, equally distributing the funds to two non-governmental relief organizations, Mercy Corps and Samaritan’s Purse, to deliver emergency aid to North Korea.

The heaviest rain in 40 years swept North Korea, which is poorly equipped to cope amid wide-spread deforestation. The severe damage caused the second inter-Korean summit to be postponed from late August to early October.


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