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更新时间:2018-5-16 20:06:49 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

Aid Agency Chief Reports ‘Tremendous Sense of Optimism’ in North Korea

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean officials have a “tremendous sense of optimism” about their country’s recent turn toward diplomacy and have promised to work more openly with humanitarian aid groups, according to the head of the World Food Program, who visited the country last week.

韩国首尔——朝鲜官员对他们的国家最近转向外交感到“极为乐观”,他们承诺将更公开地与人道救援组织合作,据上周访问朝鲜的联合国世界粮食计划署(World Food Program)负责人说。

David Beasley, the executive director of the United Nations agency, also said that while malnutrition continued to be a problem in the impoverished North, he saw no evidence during his four-day trip of the kind of extreme food shortages that killed more than two million people there in the 1990s.

该机构的执行干事戴维·比斯利(David Beasley)还说,虽然营养不良仍是贫困的朝鲜所面临的一个问题,但在他的四天旅行中,他没有看见任何食品极端缺乏的迹象,20世纪90年代出现过那样的短缺,曾导致200多万人朝鲜人死亡。

“What I did not see was starvation,” Mr. Beasley said Tuesday at a news conference in Seoul. “I saw none of that. Is there undernutrition? Of course there is.”


Mr. Beasley said he spent two days visiting farms, villages, schools and nurseries in the poverty-stricken countryside and another two days in Pyongyang, the capital, talking with officials. The trip came a month before the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is scheduled to meet with President Trump in Singapore, on June 12.


Mr. Beasley, a former Republican governor of South Carolina, said the diplomacy underway between the North and the United States had had a visible effect on the attitude of North Korean officials. He said his group was given more access during its tour of the countryside than in past trips.


“There is a tremendous sense of optimism by the leadership and by the people I met with and hopes that they will be turning a new chapter in history, a new page,” he said.


The World Food Program has been operating in North Korea for more than 20 years, providing nutritional aid for children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. But in recent years, the agency has had trouble raising funds for its work there, as the United Nations Security Council has imposed increasingly tough sanctions on the North over its nuclear and missile tests.


The North has also been accused of not giving independent monitors enough access to establish that aid is reaching people in need.


Mr. Beasley said his team spent a considerable amount of time explaining to North Korean officials that they needed to provide the World Food Program with more access and data, to ensure transparency in aid distribution and help the agency better determine people’s needs. He said he saw “a genuine desire to be more open” and engage in “more frank and candid discussions.”


The North Koreans “gave us all indications that they plan to meet our standards and work with us,” Mr. Beasley said.


North Korea has experienced chronic food shortages since the 1990s, although its grain production has improved in recent years. Last year, the World Food Program estimated that 10 million of the North’s 25 million people were undernourished, routinely short of essential proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.


On average, North Korean teenagers are several inches shorter than their South Korean counterparts because of malnutrition, according to humanitarian groups. “No children should suffer the consequences of political decisions,” Mr. Beasley said.


During his visit, Mr. Beasley said, he saw men and women working in the fields with minimal farm machinery, toiling with their hands, hoes and shovels and using oxen to pull plows. He said “every inch” of arable land, up to the edges of roads and down embankments, seemed to be cultivated, as the mountainous, heavily sanctioned country struggled to produce food.


As Mr. Kim, the North Korean leader, engages Washington in dialogue, he has promised to focus on developing his country’s economy. The American secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea have said that their governments are willing to help North Korea improve its agriculture and other industries if it gives up its nuclear weapons.