The South Korean government must actively review the idea of giving its own emergency relief aid to North Korea, rather than simply acquiescing to private aid efforts, ruling Saenuri Party chairman Hwang Woo Yea has declared.
“North Korea appears to have suffered no small degree of damage due to consecutive instances of drought, heavy rain and typhoons,” Hwang told a meeting in Seoul this morning. “Currently there is private flood aid being delivered, but the government ought also to review the idea of its own humanitarian assistance.”
Hwang also came out in support of inter-Korean exchanges on a private basis, saying, “We must undertake private exchanges and humanitarian assistance both regularly and consistently, while support for the symbol of successful private economic exchanges, the Kaesong Industrial Complex, must be strengthened above all else.”
“We must also complete the construction of the under-construction heart hospital in Pyongyang,” Hwang added, referring to Cho Yong Gi Heart Hospital.
The hospital, an 8-storey hospital in Pyongyang whose construction first began in 2007 following an agreement between the Seoul-based Yeouido Full Gospel Church (founder: Pastor Cho Yong Gi), one of the largest churches in the world, and Chosun Christians Federation. However, construction was halted following the sinking of the Cheonan in March, 2010.
However, Hwang also noted, “We must also do everything possible to strengthen our national defense and not accept any North Korean provocation whatsoever.”