DPRK

South Korea's relief aid for the victims of the train explosion in Ryongchon 21 Jun 2004

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News and Press Release
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1. Outline of Accident

April 22

Train explosion occurred at Ryongchon station in the northern province of Pyongang, North Korea.

- The explosion was caused by an electrical short-circuit during the track switching of wagons loaded with ammonium nitrate fertilizer and tanker wagons (April 24 Korea Central News Agency)

- As of April 26, the extent of damages covers a radius of 1.5~2 km, and the depth of the blast goes 15m deep. The accident destroyed approximately 8,100 houses including 1,850 houses that totally collapsed and about 30 buildings. It left about 150 dead and about 1,300 injured. The North is currently trying to determine the number of the missing (April 26 KCNA)

2. North Korea's Response

The North, as an unusual gesture, quickly made an announcement not only about the accident but also about its scope and cause. The North, acknowledging China's humanitarian relief aid, appealed to the international community to join the relief efforts

- April 24-25 (KCNA, Pyongyang Broadcasting Station, Central TV), April 25 (Rodong Shinmun), etc.

The North, in its official response to the South's telephone notifications sent on April 24 and 26 in the name of the chairman of the South Korean Red Cross, expressed its willingness to accept the South's relief aid

3. Progress

April 23

Acting President Goh Kun ordered to draw up relief measures for North Korea on humanitarian grounds

April 23 14:00

In his weekly briefing to the press, Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun stated: "The government will do its utmost to help North Korea on humanitarian and brotherhood grounds"

April 24 10:00

Acting president Goh Kun presided over a ministerial meeting on emergency response measures for the victims of the accident at Ryongchon station

- The government, as part of its first stage relief aid, decided to provide 1 million dollars' worth of emergency relief supplies to North Korea

* As part of its support for the international community's relief efforts, the South expressed its willingness to send 200,000 dollars to World Health Organization via the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea in Geneva

April 25 09:00

The government convened a working-level Emergency Response Team meeting on providing relief aid to the victims of the train explosion

- The task force team discussed specific relief aid efforts, including the individual items of emergency relief supplies and method of transportation

April 26 11:00

The South sent a telephone notification in the name of the chairman of the South Korean Red Cross on its relief aid plan

April 26 14:00

The South received a response from the North in the name of the chairman of the North Korean Red Cross

- The North, expressing its gratitude for the South's consolation, requested that the South send relief supplies via sea route. It proposed to hold a working-level consultative meeting in Gaesong on April 27

April 27 14:30~17:00

The South and the North made an inter-Korean contact in Gaesong to discuss issues regarding emergency relief aid for the victims of the train blast at Ryongchon station

- The North, saying that there are sufficient medical supplies, daily necessities as well as medical experts already working on the site, requested an immediate supply of materials and equipment needed for the restoration of the damaged area.

* The North made a request for the following items:

40,000 square meters of steel plate for making roofs, 50,000 tons of cement, 10 bulldozers, 500 tons of diesel oil and school supplies, including blackboards, desks, and chairs.

April 27-28

Unification Minister Jeong Se-Hyun and Vice Unification Minister Cho Kun-Shik reported to the Unification, Foreign Affairs, and Trade Committee of the National Assembly on Unification Ministry's relief efforts. They also met with representatives of major political parties such as the Uri Party and the Grand National Party to explain their relief program.

April 28 12:00

First ship carrying 1 million dollars' worth of emergency relief supplies left Inchon Port

(The North completed unloading the supplies at Nampo port at 21:00 on April 29)

April 29 07:30

Acting President Goh Kun presided over a policy coordination meeting on current relief efforts and specific relief measures

The South decided to provide materials and equipment requested by the North as much as possible

April 29

The South, in the name of the chairman of the South Korean Red Cross, sent a telephone notification to the North on overland delivery of some relief items and dispatch of technical experts

April 30 12:05

A cargo plane carrying a second shipment of relief supplies arrived at Sunan airport, Pyongyang

April 30

The North sent a telephone notification partly accepting the South's request of overland transportation

- 20 dump trucks carrying school supplies were handed over to the North in the Gaesong Industrial Complex

- The North will consider the request of allowing South Korean technical experts to give instructions on how to operate the equipment in either Dandong or Shinuiju, near the explosion city of Ryongchon

April 30

The South starts to operate a Transportation Support Team in Dandong, China

- Support team members from the Ministry of Unification, Ministry of Construction & Transportation, etc. will be dispatched starting from May 5

? Due to the Labor day breaks(from May 1 through 7), however, private-level relief supplies cannot be delivered to the North (A customs house in Dandong will be temporarily operated on May 4 and 6)

May 4

A third shipment of relief supplies was delivered by air from Inchon to Pyongyang

The South consulted with the North on the delivery of restoration materials and equipment

* Relief supplies, in general, will be delivered to Dandong, China and then to Shinuiju, the North, while relief food will be transported to Nampo port, the North.

May 5

A ship carrying a fourth shipment of relief supplies left Inchon for Nampo port, North Korea

May 7

The first shipment of restoration materials and equipment was transported by land

- Trucks were transported via the temporary roads of Gyeongui Line to Gaesong, and truck drivers came back to the South at 14:10

- 20 truck drivers working for Daewoo Distribution Co. gave a forty-minute man-to-man training on how to operate dump trucks to 20 drivers working for Pyongyang Drivers Association

May 10

A ship carrying the second shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon for Dandong, Shinuiju, and then Ryongchon

May 11

A ship carrying the third shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon for Dandong, Shiluiju, and then Ryongchon

May 12

A ship carrying the fifth shipment of relief supplies left Inchon for Nampo

May 14

The South Korean experts gave a second training on how to operate restoration equipment in Dandong

May 17

A ship carrying the fourth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Kunsan to Nampo

May 20

A ship carrying the sixth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Donghae port to Dandong

May 21

A ship carrying the fifth shipment of restoration materials and equipment and sixth shipment of relief supplies left Inchon to Nampo

May 23

A ship carrying the eighth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon port for Dandong

May 25

A ship carrying the seventh shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon port for Nampo

May 30

A ship carrying the ninth shipment of restoration materials and equipment let Inchon port for Dandong

June 2

A ship carrying the tenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Donghae for Dandong

June 3

A ship carrying the seventh shipment of aid supplies left Inchon port for Dandong

June 4

A ship carrying thirteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon for Dandong

June 6

A ship carrying eleventh and fourteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon for Dandong

June 8

A ship carrying twelfth and fifteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Inchon for Dandong

June 11

Working-level emergency response team held a meeting for checking the current status and future direction of assistance

June 16

A ship carrying sixteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment left Donghae for Nampo

June 18

Government-led support for Dandong transportation team completed its mission

4. Major Relief Effort

Relief aid of the government, the South Korean Red Cross (including private-level donation)

(Total amount of aid : 32.036billion won / 26.71million dollars)

Relief Item
Amount of Money
Transportation
O First shipment of relief supplies by ship
- 72 types of medical supplies, 91 types of medical equipment
- 3 types of emergency relief supplies, 2 types of daily necessities
886million won
(738,000 dollars)
These relief supplies were sent to Nampo port on April 29
O Second shipment of relief supplies by cargo plane
- 3,480 sets of emergency relief supplies, 11 types of daily necessities, 9 types of medical supplies
591million won
(493,000 dollars)
They arrived at Sunan airport on April 30
O Third shipment of relief supplies by cargo plane 2.64billion won
(2.2million dollars)
They arrived at Sunan airport on May 4
O Fourth shipment of relief supplies by ship
- Relief supply sets, food, clothing and bottled water whose amount is equivalent to 88 containers
1.94billion won
(1.62million dollars)
They were sent to Nampo port on May 6
O First shipment of restoration materials and equipment by land
- 20 dump trucks (8t), 1,500 sets of chairs and tables, 50 blackboards
1.1billion won
(920,000 dollars)
They were sent to Gaesong on May 7
O Second shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 5 cranes, 10 bulldozers, 15 material parts
864million won
(720,000 dollars)
They arrived in Shinuiju on May 13
O Third shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 500 tons of steel(10mm wide), 460 tons of vinyl chloride, 15 tons of PVC pipe, 25 tons of PVC filter
641million won
(530,000)
They left Inchon Port on May 11
They arrived in Shinuiju on May 15
O Fifth shipment of relief supplies
- Food, daily necessities, clothing, bottled water, etc.
1.84billion won
(1.54million dollars)
They left Inchon port on May 12
They arrived at Nampo port on May 13
O Fourth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 5,000 tons of rice
9.12billion won
(7.6million dollars)
They left Kunsan port on May 17
They arrived at Nampo port on May 21
O Fifth shipment of restoration materials and equipment and sixth shipment of relief supply
- 500 tons of diesel oil, 500 tons of gasoline
- medical supplies, clothes, etc.
1.54billion won
(1.28million dollars)
720million won
(600,000 dollars)
They left Inchon port on May 21
They arrived at Nampo port on May 24
O Sixth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- the first shipment of 6,600 tons of cement
535million won
(446,000 dollars)
They left Donghae port on May 20
They were transported from Dandong to Shinuiju on May 24~27
O Seventh shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 5,000 tons of wheat flour, 40,000? of iron plate for roof, 500 tons of 13?-wide steel
3.42billion won
(2.85million dollars)
They left Inchon port on May 25
They arrived at Nampo port on May 26
O Eighth shipment of restoration materials and equipment 243million won
(203,000 dollars)
They arrived at Dandong port on May 24
O Ninth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- the third shipment of 3,000 tons of cement
243million won
(203,000 dollars)
They left Inchon port on May 30
O Tenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- the fourth shipment of 9,500 tons of cement
769million won
(641,000dollars)
They left Donghae for Dandong on June 2
O Seventh shipment of aid supplies
- medical supplies, daily necessities, etc.
768million won
(640,000dollars)
They left Inchon port on June 3
They arrived at Nampo port on June 6
O Thirteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- polyvinyl chloride for window (20,000 square meters, 50 sets of TV)
768million won
(640,000dollars)
They left Inchon for Dandong on June 4
They arrived in Shinuiju on June 9
O Eleventh shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- fifth delivery of 3,000 tons of cement
990million won
(825,000dollars)
They left Inchon port on June 6
They arrived in Shinuiju on June 14
O Fourteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 1,000 tons of polyethylene
990million won
(825,000dollars)
They left Inchon port on June 6
They arrived in Shinuiju on June 14
O Fifth shipment of restoration material and equipment
- polyvinyl chloride for window (20,000 square meters)
753million won
(628,000dollars)
They left Inchon for Dandong on June 8
They arrived in Shinuiju on June 11
O Twelfth shipment of restoration materials and equipment
- 3,000tons of cement
233million won
(203,000dollars)
They left Inchon for Dandong on June 8
They arrived in Shinuiju on June 11
O Sixteenth shipment of restoration materials and equipment 786million won
(655,000dollars)
They left Donghae on June 16
They arrived at Nampo port on June 18

The government sent 200,000 dollars to the World Health Organization to help promote the international community's relief aid to North Korea (May 13)

The government will cover the transportation cost of those NGOs and civic groups that send their collected goods to the site of accident at Ryongchon station through the South Korean Red Cross.

The South will make every effort to provide restoration materials and equipment requested by the North during the inter-Korean working-level meeting on emergency relief aid

- Total relief expenses including transportation cost amount to approximately 31 billion won. The expenses will be financed through collected donations and Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund

* List of restoration materials and equipment to be sent

1. 40,000 square meters of iron plate for making roofs (0.8mm)
2. 50,000 tons of cement
3. 20,000? of resin sash for window (including glass)
4. 10 bulldozers (120HP)
5. 5 cranes (oil pressure method 0.5~1?)
6. 20 trucks (over 10 ton)
7. 500 tons of diesel oil
8. 500 tons of gasoline
9. 1,000 tons of steel (500 tons of 8mm and 12mm each)
10. 500 tons of vinyl chloride for injection molding
11. 1,000 tons of ethylene copolymer for injection molding
12. 10,000 tons of food (5,000 tons of rice and wheat flour each)
13. School supplies (TV, desks and chairs, and blackboards for 1,500 students)

The South will provide 20 square meters of rubber waterproof plate that the North requested via ROK Red Cross on May 17 and 1,000 tons of pitch for road construction as soon as those materials are procured

5. Future Plan

After procuring the relief supplies as early as possible, the South will deliver them to the North in several shipments

The South plans to deliver shipments of first requested aid supplies by the end of June, and will assist additionally requested aid supplies as soon as aid supplies are procured.

The government will encourage civic groups and local governmental organizations to provide their relief aid through the South Korean Red Cross

- The government will form a single task force team consisting of the South Korean Red Cross, civic groups and the government

? According to the number of approvals of delivery to the North by Unification Ministry, as of June 17, about 20 organizations provided an estimated 22.21 billion won's worth of relief supplies

Korean Sharing Movement and The National Reconciliation Council signed an agreement on restoration of facilities such as Ryongchon elementary school (May 5)

* They agreed to set an "Establishment Committee for Ryongchon Elementary School" by June 2, and also pledged to provide relief supplies in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of June 15 South-North Joint Declaration

International Assistance for the Victims of the Accident at Ryongchon station

Individual Countries

U.S.

- Whitehouse spokesperson Scott McClellan announced, on April 26, that the U.S. would provide 100,000 dollars' worth of relief aid to the North

Japan

- Foreign Ministry announced, on April 25, its plan to provide 100,000 dollars' worth of relief medical supplies.

China

- Foreign Ministry announced, on April 24, its plan to provide 1.2 million dollars' worth of relief supplies

- As part of its first relief aid efforts, China sent, on April 25, 2,000 blankets, 300 tents and food worth about 70,000 dollars via its Customs house in Shinuiju to North Korea

- China, on April 30, provided 1.21million dollars' worth of relief supplies including blankets, food and construction materials to the North

Russia

- April 24

Russia, in the name of President Vladimir Putin, sent condolences to the victims of the train blast.

- Russia announced on April 25 that Russia, as its first stage relief effort, would provide North Korea with 10 tons of medical supplies, 1,000 blankets and 85 tents (for 10-30 people)

* A transport plane carrying relief goods landed at Sunan airport in Pyongyang on April 27

* Russia, as its second stage of relief effort, supplied construction materials to the North via railroads

Canada

- Canada announced its plan to provide 100,000 Canadian dollars(74,000 U.S. dollars) through the Red Cross

EU

- European Commission decided on April 23 to provide 200,000 euros(240,000 U.S. dollars) via the Danish Red Cross

Germany

- Germany, in the name of its chancellor, sent a telegram of condolences to North Korea

- It plans to provide 300,000 dollars in aid to the North

In addition, other countries such as France, Ireland, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Greece, Singapore, Syria, Thailand, Cambodia, Austria, Hungary, Italy and Norway provided or will provide relief aid to the North

International Organization

International organizations will provide a combined 2million dollars in aid to the North. Various international organizations are joining relief aid efforts such as United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA), UNICEF, World Health Organization(WHO), Food & Agriculture Organization(FAO), World Food Programme(WFP), International Federation of Red Cross(IFRC) and International Committee of the Red Cross(ICRC)

Overseas NGOs

Overseas NGOs including Caritas Germany, L.A. Korean Association, Dandong Korean Association provided a combined 486,000 dollars in aid to the North

* Koreans in Washington organized a meeting for assistance for Ryongchon, providing an approximately 12million dollars worth of medical supplies and equipment (King, a U.S. pharmaceutical company donated them)