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Private aid groups active in North Korea

March 2, 2012 at 11:56 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, March 2 (UPI) -- Korean Buddhist and Christian leaders are to brief U.S. officials on current humanitarian aid projects in North Korea.

The Korean Sharing Movement, a coalition of South Korean non-governmental organizations, and the U.K. charity Love North Korean Children have set up bakeries in several North Korean districts to provide bread to orphanages and malnourished children. Bread is used because it is more difficult for it to be diverted to other uses.

Representatives of the groups are to meet with the U.S. State Department, USAID and the U.S. Institute for Peace. They are accompanied by Korean National Assembly member Nakyun Shin of the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee, and Moon Dae-kun from South Korea's Ministry of Unification.

Venerable Young Dam, a Buddhist and president of the Korean Sharing movement said, "It is significant that our contacts in North Korea are the district-level People's Committees, not the central government in Pyongyang."

Robert Schuller, chairman of the Coalition for American Renewal, an interfaith group, joined the delegation.

"We want to explore how U.S. faith leaders can support our South Korean counterparts in their outreach to the north," he said.

The Global Peace Festival Foundation, one of the co-sponsors of the visit, is founded by Hyun Jin Moon who is also chairman of News World Communications, which owns UPI.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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