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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Another hungry spring

Overseas aid helps, but winter will be hard on North Koreans

Three years of flood and drought and the resulting loss of harvest have brought North Korea to this hard place. But seven years of slippage, beginning with the fall of the Soviet bloc, have now become a deep and general economic collapse.

When we asked repeatedly to see more of where our aid had gone (translation: to see more of the human need), we were told no because of U.S. and South Korean military maneuvers.

We learned that need is genuine and aid is helping--answering the delegation's two questions. Although material things are paramount now, trust is vital for saving lives too. Even if misfortune gives it little choice, North Korea is prepared to suffer until trust is established.


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