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  • » 06/09/2006, 00.00


    South Korean Caritas new channel of Catholic aid to north

    The agreement "implies that North Korea acknowledges the work of the South Korean section as the only channel of aid from Catholics from all over the world."

    Seoul (AsiaNews/CBCK) – The South Korean Caritas has become the official channel for humanitarian aid donated by the international Caritas for people north of the border.

    After a five-day visit to North Korea, from 29 May, Fr Lazzaro You Heung-sik, President of the bishops' aid committee, said: "On behalf of the Caritas Internationalis, we discussed the project of development and cooperation with Kim Seong-il, Vice-Chairman of the National Economic Cooperation Committee of North Korea, who accepted our direct commitment. We also exchanged a letter of intent."

    According to this letter, the South Korean Caritas will assume full responsibility for international aid from 2007 onwards;until then, this work will be undertaken by the Hong Kong section, which "owns" the responsibility.

    The agreement stipulates that projects proposed by Caritas Internationalis will be discussed by Koreans from both countries in the offices of the Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation Committee in Kaeseong, which has now become the "free zone" of relations between the two peoples.

    Fr Paul Jeremiah Hwang Yong-yeon, Secretary of the South Korean Caritas said the agreement "implies that North Korea acknowledges our work as the only channel of aid from Catholics from all over the world."

    In recent years, Caritas had been given increasingly frequent permission by Pyongyang to collaborate on the humanitarian front, especially in the health and nutritional sectors.

    However, the South Korean section could, for the most part, offer aid only on tragic occasions like the train disaster two years ago in Ryongcheon station.

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    See also

    20/10/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Caritas to "continue work for people in North" after nuclear test

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    18/10/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Nuclear test "affects Caritas aid for the people"

    The director of the Korean Caritas, Fr Paul Jeremiah Hwang Yong-yeon, was the first foreigner to cross the border with North Korea after Pyongyang announced that it had carried out a nuclear test. He told AsiaNews how this experiment is sure to deal a heavy blow to the work of the Catholic organization and how ordinary people will pay the price.

    16/02/2007 NORTH KOREA – VATICAN
    Pope writes letter to North Korean Catholics
    This is the reply of the Holy See to a Christmas card sent by the National Korean Catholic Association. It will be delivered during a visit by a Caritas delegation to Pyongyang on 27 March. Mgr Lazzaro You Heung will lead the delegation.

    10/10/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Seoul: South Korean bishops meet to discuss aid for North after atomic test

    The South Korean bishops, amid the general assembly of their conference, gathered all those involved in the sector of humanitarian aid for the people of North Korea. Tomorrow, the local Caritas director leaves for the north.

    16/05/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
    Seoul and Pyongyang to restart talks
    A South Korean delegation arrived this morning in Kaesong, a city in North Korea, for the start of two-day talks. It will discuss restarting the six-nation nuclear talks and humanitarian aid for the North.

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