Friday, April 23, 2004

North Korea Appeals for Aid After Blast

Do these guys have chutzpah or what?

DANDONG, China (AP) - Issuing a rare appeal for foreign help, North Korea's secretive government said Friday that a devastating train explosion killed several hundred people, and it invited aid workers to come see the disaster site near the Chinese border.

North Korea restricts the movement of foreigners, and groups that distribute aid to alleviate its food shortages are barred from some areas. Aid workers have been allowed to visit areas struck by drought or floods in recent years, but the government has never arranged such quick access to the scene of a disaster like the train explosion.

The North also filed an appeal with the United Nations humanitarian agency in Geneva for unspecified international aid, U.N. officials said. The U.N. children's agency said it was preparing to send medicines and first-aid kits. South Korea and other governments said they were ready to send medicine or other aid if the North asked for it.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the United States is evaluating the situation in North Korea to see "if there is a need or an opportunity for the United States to help."

Yeah, we'll help them. That's who we are and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The world has no shortage of despicable monsters, but the North Koreans must be the world's most annoying monsters.