Following is the Appeal from the gathered New Settlers for South Korea to provide immediate Food Aid to North Korea
“We cannot help but feel anxious and fearful that our folks in the North might be driven to mass starvation and death and vaporize into thin air”
Dear President of the South Korean Government
We, the New Settlers in South Korea, are gathered here together upon receiving the latest report that the severe food crisis currently affecting North Korea is causing numerous human beings to die from starvation everyday.
Yesterday in Sinuiju, a city that borders China, and the day before yesterday in the Yeonbak Plain, which used to be called a granary - many young children, elderly seniors, and even young and strong adults fall victim and died of starvation because of the harsh conditions currently afflicting North Korea.
Some got shot to death for stealing a piece of government property. These individuals were merely trying to escape from the intolerable pangs of hunger they endured everyday. Others were sent to jail under the charge of crossing the border illegally to acquire some food.
We all are in agony when we are forced to hear about these cruel realities of North Korea. Having left our parents, brothers and sisters at home in the North, we cannot sleep at night even though we are well fed here.
We all wish we could send some money to our folks at home in the North if there is a way. However, there is no way to do this, and as a result, we feel utterly helpless and frustrated.
We cannot help but feel anxious and fearful that our folks in the North might be driven to mass starvation and death and vaporize into thin air.
How and why do we have to let them live in agony? There is limit to the amount of suffering and agony that can be endured. That is why we are here appealing to the president and the South Korean government upon which all of our bodies and souls depend.
All of us understand well that the country is currently facing many challenges, both internally and externally. However, we believe that nothing is more precious than human lives. Nobody is free from the cold reality that people who share the same blood as us are dying from starvation.
We recognize that special measures are needed to deal with this situation, and consequently, we appeal for the sound judgment and wise counsel of the respected president and the government to help the people in the North.
We appeal for the following:
First, we recognize that the Kim Jongil regime is responsible for the current food crisis, but all the citizens of this nation should not ignore the current situation when so many North Koreans are dying.
We request that our respected president and the government make their positions and attitudes towards the North clear.
Second, we are in a situation where mass deaths from starvation are anticipated. Therefore, we should set up a system through which food supplies and aid can be provided as soon as possible without any preconditions.
We request that all measure be taken so that 200,000 MT of food can reach North Korea within this month.
We believe that the honorable president and the government respect human rights and human values. We believe our respected president and the government will not hesitant to provide provisions for those dying from starvation. Therefore, we appeal that our respected president and the government respond fully and swiftly to our requests and expectations.
June 16, 2008
The New Settlers Appealing on the 200,000 MT Emergency Food Assistance for the North Korean People
Good Friends: Center for Peace, Human Rights and Refugees
If you need further information, please contact
Good Friends (Korea)
Good Friends USA (Washington, DC)