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Seoul's civic group launches campaign to send fertilizer to N. Korea

2014/03/14 17:42

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- An association of civic groups here said Friday it has launched a public campaign to send 1 million sacks of fertilizer to North Korea to help resolve its food crisis and to improve inter-Korean ties.

The Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), a coalition of pro-unification civic and social groups in South Korea, launched the campaign on Wednesday with a goal to send one 20-kilogram bag of fertilizer per person to the North.

The 1 million sacks, or 20,000 tons, can support some 200 farms on 660 square kilometers in the impoverished communist country, according to the KCRC.

As of 6 p.m. on Thursday, it secured 73,210 bags, the organization said, adding that one bag of fertilizer costs 12,000 won (US$11.2).

"The campaign aims to help resolve the North's chronic food crisis and to boost the morale of farmers there," the KCRC said in a press release.

"We also expect the project to lay a foundation for the two Koreas to get prepared for national reunification in a way to benefit the both Koreas," it added.

The Seoul government has suspended food and fertilizer aid to the North in recent years, though it has allowed private aid agencies to ship humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable children and women in the North.