North Korea Working Group

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Below are some links to information about the DPRK

Details of some of the work of the American Friends Service Committee in the DPRK and ways to find out more :

An article about the work of the Christian Friends of Korea, a US based group doing humanitarian work in the DPRK for over 20 years.

You can download the March 2019 report by the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the DPRK which estimates that 11 million people lack sufficient nutritious food, clean drinking water or access to basic services like health and sanitation. The report goes on to document the lower food production and lack of humanitarian assistance.

A BBC investigation of who is giving humanitarian aid to the DPRK shows the dramatic drop in food aid in recent years, particularly from China and South Korea.

The Global Hunger Index shows North Korea is almost into the "Alarming" level and the World Food Program reports that more than 40 percent of the population are undernourished and require humanitarian assistance. A BBC report in November 2019 suggests that the current year's harvest is going to be poor partly as a result of floods in September and a report from Democracy Now indicates that the sanctions harm women and are preventing humanitarian aid.

There was a call in November 2018 by 35 organisations to restore humanitarian access to the DPRK. Maybe that has had some effect as a news report in November 2019 says exemptions from sanctions has been given to a US NGO for work with disabled North Korean children, although it is only valid for six months. However, the advent of Covid 19 has stopped travel to the DPRK.

Nevertheless, a coalition of national organisations in the USA wrote a letter in March 2021 to the new US President urging that the review of relations with the DPRK concentrate on sustained diplomacy rather than sanctions.

On the 70th anniversary of the start of the Korean War in July 2020 a group of Korean American Christians issued a statement "Longing for Reconciliation: Lamenting over 70 years of Division Between North Korea and South Korea" which was supported by many other organisations and individuals.

In March 2019 there was a call by 55 civil society organisations in South Korea for the United Nations to continue the peace process between the USA and the DPRK.

The International Red Cross / Red Crescent organisation liaises with the equivalent organisation in the DPRK and IFOAM also has a program to help with organic agriculture.

Although rather out of date, this article from The Atlantic gives some interesting insight into humanitarian work in the DPRK.

Two ABC programs about Architecture in the DPRK:

It is not possible to travel to the DPRK at present, but companies that used to organise tours include Koryo and Regent.

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