Famine in North Korea; aid held up by political game
November/December 1997

Dear Gainesville residents,

My name is Minsung Chun. I live in Maguire Village, Gainesville. I am writing this letter on behalf of people in North Korea suffering from severe famine. Those, who suffer most from the famine but have no say in international politics.

North Korea is a country of 23 million people. However, according to World Vision, an international relief organization, about one million people already died of starvation this year.

Three consecutive years of floods, drought and tidal storms since 1995 have reduced 75% of its annual crop. Since its first severe flood in 1995, the country has made several official appeals for help to international community.

However, food aid to North Korea has been used by governments in South Korea, Japan, and the U.S. as a chance to get political concessions from North Korean government.

In a letter to Secretary of State, Madeline K. Albright, a group of international relief organizations have warned that the scale of the famine undergoing in North Korea is beyond private donation and urged the government to put aside political concerns for an immediate food aid.

However, delays in sending food to North Korea has led over one million of innocent deaths in North Korea this year.

While the arrival of urgent food is postponed by these governments, more millions of children, mothers, fathers and grandparents are going to die of hunger in North Korea.

Bernard Krisher, an American journalist working for North Koreans through online campaign, calls on people to follow conscience. He says, a whole generation of stunted, sickly children in North Korea and our children will ask us--as young Swiss are asking their parents today about their acquiescence toward the Nazis during the Holocaust--how could you let these people go hungry?

The German Red Cross called the famine one of the worst the world has seen since World War II and said that around 10,000 North Korean children are dying of starvation every month.

University of Florida celebrates Family Week in November. We are all the same people with hearts for our families. Would you open your hearts for the families in North Korea?

Many parents and grandparents have died because they saved food for their children. Would you share the pains of the families in North Korea? You can stop the cruel international political game before it turns a natural disaster into a man-made genocide.

It takes at least three months for a shipment of U.S. governmental aid to reach North Korean ports. We have no time to lose.

What you can do to help people in North Korea:

1. Send letters or emails to your public officials, calling for a change in aid policy to North Korea.
2. Send money or checks to Save North Korean Children (SNKC), P.O. Box 12027 Gainesville, FL 32604

The donated money will be sent to Red Cross in South Korea for immediate use for food and medicine for North Koreans.

SNKC will visit your gatherings with a video tape and more information. Please contact SNKC at (352)846-5369.

For more information, check our website. http://grove.ufl.edu/~minsung

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