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Franklin Graham Makes 3rd Trip to North Korea

Franklin Graham arrived in North Korea on Tuesday to meet with high-level government officials and visit his ministries' humanitarian assistance projects.

Tue, Oct. 13, 2009 Posted: 10:05 AM EDT

Franklin Graham arrived in North Korea on Tuesday to meet with high-level government officials and visit his ministries' humanitarian assistance projects.

"I believe it is important to make visits like this to help improve better relations and to have better understanding with each other," said Graham prior to departing. "I'm going as a minister of Jesus Christ with a message of peace and that God loves each one of us regardless of our borders or politics."

Graham’s latest trip marks the third time the evangelical leader has visited the reclusive nation and the first time an American aid agency has visited since all U.S. humanitarian groups were kicked out more than six months ago.

For much of this year, Pyongyang has been withdrawing from and provoking the international community, particularly with its missile test-launching.

Though North Korea has suffered chronic food shortages since flooding and mismanagement destroyed its economy in the mid-1990s, the country refused American food shipments and booted out all U.S. aid groups operating in the country in March without any reason.

The five expelled groups, collectively referred to as the NGO Partners, had been operating in the country through the USAID-supported food assistance program since June 2008 and said their efforts were the result of the “tremendous” humanitarian need in North Korea.

"Clearly, this is food assistance that the North Korean people need. That's why we're concerned. ... The food situation in North Korea is not a good one," State Department spokesman Robert Woods had told reporters after news broke of the agencies’ expulsions.

Despite the disappointing news, the NGO Partners said they would somehow continue to work to address the needs of North Korea’s people, as individual agencies and in cooperative partnerships.

Groups that have operated in North Korea include Caritas, World Concern, Mercy Corps, and World Vision, among others.

Graham’s organization, Samaritan’s Purse, has been working in North Korea since the 1997, primarily with medical and dental programs, providing more than $10 million in assistance.

During this week’s visit, Graham will be making a presentation totaling $190,000 in equipment and supplies for a new dental center being built in Pyongyang. He will also visit a provincial hospital in the countryside where a generator system installed by Samaritan's Purse, in conjunction with USAID, is now providing electrical power where none previously existed.

Graham also hopes his limited time in North Korea will allow visits to other hospitals and dental facilities where Samaritan's Purse has offered assistance during the past 12 years.

Following his visit, Graham will travel to China where Samaritan's Purse last year sent a Boeing 747 cargo plane filled with urgently-needed supplies to Chengdu in response to a 7.9 magnitude earthquake that killed 40,000 people.

For nearly four decades, Samaritan's Purse has worked in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.

The international relief organization, established by Bob Pierce in 1970, provides immediate, no-red-tape response to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations-especially in locations where few others are working.

Joshua A. Goldberg
Christian Post Reporter

See also 方暁「美国知名牧師訪問朝鮮」『東方早報』2009年10月14日

北朝鮮関係では、呉佳俊「埃里克森率朝鮮男足球打世界杯?」(『東方早報』2009年10月15日)。イングランドの前監督、Sven-Goran Erikssonの北朝鮮ナショナル・ティーム監督就任に向けて、朝鮮サッカー協会と北京で交渉に入っているというもの。但し、この記事は13日付けのGuardianの記事*1を元ネタにしたものと思われるが、14日付けのMatt Scott “Sven-Goran Eriksson pulls out of North Korea talks”*2や”Sven-Goran Eriksson 'rejects offer' to manage North Korea at World Cup*3によると、エリクソンはオファーを固辞したという。


「英国人阿克毛・沙伊克」が2008年10月29日にウルムチ市中級人民法院にて麻薬販売の罪で死刑判決を受けたことが英国−中国間の外交問題になっている。G20サミット期間中のブラウン首相と胡錦濤国家主席との会談でもこの件が言及された。英国側は「阿克毛・沙伊克」には「精神疾病」があると主張し、中国側に精神鑑定を要求している。「阿克毛・沙伊克」は現在「最高人民法院」で「複核」(再審理)中*4。「阿克毛・沙伊克」、印度系? アラブ系?