South Korean farmers are urging their government to resume food aid to North Korea.
South Korea’s largest farmers’ organisation issued the appeal on Thursday as it prepared to send its own rice shipment to the North.
Seoul was a major aid donor to the impoverished neighbour under two previous liberal governments. But such aid stopped after conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office last year and criticised unconditional assistance to Pyongyang.
Despite the lack of government-level aid, civic groups in South Korea have occasionally sent food assistance to the North.
The farmers’ group plans to send 174 tonnes of rice to the North on Friday.
North Korea has relied on foreign handouts to feed its 23-million population since the mid-1990s.