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India to send pulses to North Korea

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  • Published 26.03.11

New Delhi, March 25: India will provide pulses worth $1 million (Rs 4.5 crore) to North Korea to help it tide over a food crisis that the UN estimates threatens to leave six million people starving.

A foreign ministry spokesperson said today the aid is being given at North Korea’s request.

“The government of India has decided to provide urgent humanitarian food assistance to the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The assistance comprising pulses worth US $1 million will be disbursed through the United Nations World Food Programme,” spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said.

Junior foreign minister E. Ahamed said 1,300 tonnes of pulses was being sent.

According to UN estimates, six million — a quarter of North Korea’s population — urgently need food aid because of a sharp fall in domestic production and international aid. A famine in North Korea in the 1990s is said to have killed nearly one million. A UN survey suggests the country’s public distribution system would run out of food by May.

The US and other western countries had stopped food aid to North Korea because of its nuclear programme and charges that it was behind two attacks on South Korea in 2010.