The Korea Herald


Readers’ VOICE

By John.Power

Published : July 6, 2011 - 20:29

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On food aid...

Food is a basic human need with water, shelter, education and primary health care. It is a prerequisite for health -- the most important component of human resource development. Food security is now listed among the social determinants of health which is clearly a determinant of HRD - life, dignity, civil society, progress, justice and sustainable development.

As an awakened academician of strong convictions from India, I am strongly motivated to express my opinion with a full sense of responsibility on the issue of concern for the food security and cordial relations between South and North Korea. South Korea should not only resume food aid to North Korea but give it top priority.

It is sad to note that food security is politics and not economics. Food security is the major concern of policymaking at an international level through cooperation with each other with a sense of humanity.

To achieve this goal is to revive happiness, dignity and joy in the world -- starting with that lovely little peninsula of Korea that has suffered so much over the last six decades.

We must adopt a systematic diagnosis taking lessons from history. We should not repeat our mistakes time and time again.

Earlier I placed a word of appreciation to the South Korean leadership for sending food items for the flood victims in North Korea as a step in the right direction. Our moral duty is to make sincere efforts by our Looks, Actions and Words (LAW) which can become a LAW of the land in a strict sense of the concept.

There is a strong case for shifting political behavior from the marriage model (with several generations believing in divorce also) to a stock-exchange model (maximum return from investment in humanity) with the generation of faith and trust in values among politicians who should understand the economics of politics and not the politics of economics when it comes to food security. It should always be remembered that politics divides and economics unites.

-- Madan Mohan Goel, ICCR chair professor at Graduate School of International & Area Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul

North Korean dictators are enjoying their luxurious lives through seizing the aid provided to help those on the streets.

Even though the South knows that not all the food will reach those in need, South Korea keeps sending food.

Just because North Korea is a brother nation does not give them the right to starve the poor. The South should realize the truth and find a better way to help civilians rather than sending the rations irrationally.

Also the concept of aid betrays imperialism.

Many who help NK say that they are altruistic and want to help those who are in need. The latent meaning of helping, however, is the South trying to overtake the North in a subtle way.

South Korea wants to change the North Korea into the South by giving it a hand. We can see this happening around the world such as the US deploying its troops for “security” but slowly drying out the cultures of the nations where the military forces are stationed.

The South helping the North is just like this.

Helping North Korea by supplying rice or flour will only mean that South Korea does not accept what is happening which leads to the South changing and suppressing the North.

Rather than purely being helpful, South Korea is being imperialistic.

Another classic irony of noblesse oblige.

That is why aid to North Korea should not be resumed.

-- Yuh Yun-sung, Daegu

South Korea thinks that if we support North Korea with food aid, it will go to those in need. But in reality, the North will resell it to buy weapons or use it to feed its military. Even if the North gives some of the aid to its people, the amount will be small.

We must not resume aid. Resuming aid will only allow the North to buy weapons with which to attack us, just as a little tiger can kill its parents after it grows up.

-- Suu So-kyung, Seoul