Medicines Donated by Korean-Americans Open Reconciliation Gates between DPR Korea and the US

Report
from Institute for Strategic Reconciliation
Published on 02 Oct 2000
(Washington, D.C. Oct. 2) - A 20-foot container of essential drugs donated by Korean-Americans began to get distributed in September in several hospitals and clinics located in urban and rural areas of DPR Korea. This medicine shipment is the third one in a year given by the Institute for Strategic Reconciliation (ISR), a not-for-profit, independent Washington-based think tank, to help save patients of DPR Korea on humanitarian grounds.

President Asaph Young Chun of the ISR witnessed the arrival and distribution of critically needed medicines during his 8-days stay in DPR Korea. "Doctors and caretakers of DPR Korea Ministry of Public Health delightedly hosted the ISR delegation," Chun noted. "A senior officer Dr. Jang of Ministry of Public Health has personally guided the ISR delegation to observe the ISR medicines stored in Central Medicine Warehouse in Pyongyang, and showed how they've got distributed."

DPRK officials have guided the ISR delegation to hospitals and clinics in country where they confirmed the arrival of the ISR essential drugs. "Korean doctors and officials appeared more relaxed since the latest visit as they let us see things as they are," commented President Chun who has made his third humanitarian trip in 11-months to DPR Korea. "Competent Korean medical professionals smiled back with gratitude," as Chun verified the arrived medicines with the shipping list of medicines. Chun was welcome to take pictures of the scenes of distribution of medicines in medical facilities, and was encouraged to discuss the current impacts of the ISR medicines. "Respiratory illness, intestinal disease, and skin infections are most prevalent to get immediate attention," Korean doctors told Chun. "They are indeed among the currently shipped medicines!" Chun shot back with a will to bring more.

Dr. Jang of Ministry of Public Health handed over an enveloped document to President Chun as they were leaving the office. The ISR medicine distribution list was stuffed in a gray envelope. The list red-stamped with DPRK Ministry of Public Health seal was detailed enough to know where each medicine got distributed as ISR and DPRK agreed a year ago. The beneficiary medical facilities were those spread out in South Pyongan Province, North and South Hwanghae, and Kangwon Province as well as Pyongyang Maternity Hospital. "Mutual confidence was stepped up as patience was paid off," voiced Chun.

The drugs donated in September by the ISR to DPR Korea were those targeted to treat about half-a-million children, pregnant/nursing women, and elderly patients. The medicines donated by the ISR were all quality products based on the Essential Drug List developed by UNICEF, WHO, and DPRK Ministry of Public Health. They included: antibiotics (150,000 tablets of Amoxicillin/125 mg, 57,000 tablets of Amoxicillin/250 mg, Erythromycin for 12,000 treatments), Analgestic/Antipyretic (Motrin for 36,000 treatments, 200,000 capsules of Tylenol for children, and 242,000 tablets of Diclofenac Sodium Delayed Release), 60,000 tablets of Duratuss for Expectorant/Decongestant, 400,000 tablets of Vitamin D 280 IU for women, sterile water for 14,400 injections, syringes and needles for 127,640 injections, oral dosing, or irrigation treatments, 80,000 tables for treating Anti-intestine-worm among children, 9,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Salts to treat diahhrea, 75,000 tablets of Iron supplement (Ferrous Sulfate), and medicines for Diuretic and Anti-infective & anti-inflammatory for the ear, among others.

"Saving lives are indiscriminant," noted chairman Inhwa Sohn of the Washington-based ISR. "Over one hundred Korean-American churches from east coast to west coast have made it possible to send to northern half of the Korean peninsula the badly needed medicines." Chairman Sohn, President of the Association of 350 Presbyterian Korean Churches in the USA, added, "Koreans help neighbors in need, and Christian Koreans love neighbors without conditions."

The ISR is an independent think tank seeking to restore reconciliation where conflict exists by engaging in scientific, cultural, educational, and humanitarian research and studies. The ISR is a founding member of the InterAction DPR Korea Working Group, a consortium of over 30 international NGOs working since 1998 in DPR Korea including World Vision and Carter Center.

If you wish to help send essential drugs to children and women of North Korea, please contact ISR@Ureach.com, or send your generous donation to:

Institute for Strategic Reconciliation
18510 Shadowridge Terrace
Olney, MD 20832
U.S.A.