SEATTLE — With current disagreements unfolding, there is obvious tension between North Korea and the U.S. With threats being exchanged, it is important now more than ever to understand how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to North Korea. Regardless of the past and current strain between the two countries, the U.S. has given aid to North Korea in instances where they have been in need, and this aid has benefited them both.
In August 2017, the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund contributed to the funds of five separate humanitarian organizations within North Korea. Because of a persistent lack of rainfall, a large portion of North Korea’s crops was destroyed, including rice, soybeans, maize and potatoes. The country’s residents rely on such crops, especially during the lean season that takes place from May to September. Earlier in July, the crop production towards the beginning of the season was down by approximately 30 percent.
The U.S. gave more than £4.5 million, $2.5 million of that going to the UNICEF and $2.8 million going to the World Food Programme. The main purpose of the aid was to help the nation recover from the drought and crop destruction, as well as assist any citizens in danger of starvation and drought-associated disease.
With such assistance, tensions may not cease completely, but such support demonstrates to North Korea that the U.S. is willing to help and be harmonious. Consequently, this helps ease the strain between the two countries, therefore providing the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to North Korea.
Foreign Affairs Magazine also explained that establishing communication between the two countries is essential in order to prevent conflict, especially if an incident or crisis were to take place. One of the best ways to keep communication open is through foreign aid, which has the potential to reduce threat levels. Foreign aid helps North Korea and the U.S. keep communication open and approachable, regardless of the existing anxieties.
In early 2017, the U.S. sent assistance to North Korea, despite the growing tensions. It marked the first humanitarian aid to North Korea since 2011. After Typhoon Lionrock struck North Korea in August, relentless rain caused massive flooding. The U.S. provided $1 million to North Korea to assist citizens during this difficult time. This act of giving signaled a change in the U.S. that showed North Korea it was willing to help North Korean citizens despite the animosity between them.
With potential threats continuing to be a concern, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to North Korea because it provides stability between the two countries that has not always been there. Providing assistance to North Korea helps suggests reconciliation and harmonious actions, which is essential when there is tension between the countries. Attempting to keep the peace will be the deciding factor of whether or not diplomacy will work. Foreign aid not only means helping North Koreans and Americans separately, but it also means bridging a gap between two tension-ridden countries.
– McCall Robison