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SKorean leader offers sympathy to NKorean leader over devastating flood damage

SKorean leader offers sympathy to NKorean leader over devastating flood damage

South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun expressed sympathy to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il over recent floods that devastated the impoverished country and promised in a letter sent Monday to help the North cope with the damage.
Roh also expressed hope that he will be able to have "candid discussions" with Kim on promoting peace and prosperity during their Pyongyang summit in early October, presidential spokesman Cheon Ho-sun said.
The summit _ which will be only the second between leaders of the two rival Koreas since the peninsula was divided _ has been rescheduled to Oct. 2-4 because of the extensive flood damage in the North. A week of storms earlier this month left about 300 people dead or missing and destroyed 11 percent of North Korea's staple rice and corn fields.
Roh also instructed South Korean officials to pool their wisdom on how to help the North, saying the flood damage appears to be "very serious," Cheon quoted Roh as telling the Cabinet.
South Korea plans to truck a US$7.5 million emergency aid package to North Korea this week by road across the two countries' heavily armed border. The aid includes instant noodles, drinking water, blankets and medicine.
The rare communication between leaders of the rival Koreas came as the North mobilized citizens in Pyongyang to recover from the week of storms earlier this month.
Officials from the Parliament, Cabinet and prosecutors' office joined with ministry workers to help clean up damage from the floods, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
Meanwhile, Seoul-based private relief agency World Vision Korea said a ship carrying medical supplies, flour and other necessities departed Monday for North Korea.


Updated : 2021-10-20 00:06 GMT+08:00