Our urgent emergency food donation trip has finally been set.
We will leave for Pyongyang on April 8.
North Koreans are now rationed to only 100 grams of rice a day, less than a tea cup. Children face malnourishment and death if vast supplies of cereals do not reach in the next few weeks. Please help to avert a catastrophe. Our donations will go directly from us to the civilian population. Don't miss this chance to save innocent lives.
Here are the details:
My daughter Debbie is coming to Tokyo on Monday April 7. On April 8 we will both depart for Beijing and pick up our North Korean visas at the DPRK Embassy on April 9. In Beijing we will stay at the Shangrila Hotel (Fax: 86-10-68418002). That afternoon we will board the Beijing-Pyongyang express train which arrives in Dandong, on the Sino-North Korean border (where the Yalu River divides both countries), early on the morning of the 10th.
We plan to transit briefly in Dandong and contract for the purchase of corn (at $163 per ton) with Mr. Yu Guodong of the Dandong Import & Export Corp. whom we have met before and who is taking a very humanitarian attitude toward this project. We will try to persuade him to bring the price down further. Such a purchase will be delivered to Sinuiju (on the North Korean side) later that week. Any donations or pledges received up to April 14, including by fax to Beijing, Dandong or Pyongyang, will purchase more corn which we can distribute to the famished area of Sinuiju around April 16.
You may wire-transfer funds to our Sumitomo Bank account in Japan and we will be notified of the amount. This will be re wired immediately to Dandong for more corn purchases which can be consolidated with our planned donations. All donations will be personally distributed by us to hungry people--by Debbie and me--and documented with film and video to be shown on this Home Page after our return. It is one of the few donation projects which are monitored so thoroughly.
It is the only sure way to know that your donation actually reaches a person in need.
On the morning of April 9 we will continue on the express train to North Korea from Dandong. We will cross over the Yalu River Bridge into Sinuiju and while waiting at the station lounge during the customs and immigration procedures, we hope to meet North Korean officials we met on our previous donation trip to Sinuiju a year ago to discuss our upcoming donation of corn later in the week.
We will then proceed to Pyongyang and arrive there at 11:30 a.m. on the 10th. We will stay at the Koryo Hotel (FAX 850-23-814422).
We hope to drive out to Wonsan on April 11 to meet the ship Mangyongbong which left Niigata, Japan on April 10 with donations of a Toyota Hi-Ace vehicle, which will be used as an ambulance, and medical equipment, to be presented through us as a donation by the Christian Association for Medical Mission of Michigan. This is a group of Korean-American doctors concerned by the food shortage in North Korea. We will deliver these donations to the Third Hospital, one of the major general hospitals in the capital. We will also bring from the ship a donation of 50 pairs of shoes from the Otsuka Shoe Co. and a donation of infant formula powdered milk, given by employees of Wyeth-Eisai Co., to be donated to the hospital in Huichon which we visited before.
We have ordered 200 tons of rice through Bell Indo, a trading company in Bangkok. The rice cost $273 per ton so the total came to $54,600. This rice is being loaded onto a North Korean ship, the M/V BE GAE BONG now, which will bring it into Nampo port free of transport charges. The ship arrived at Ho Chi Minh City on 1-3 April. Loading began immediately and is expected to be completed around April 10-11. It will arrive at Nampo port on April 21-22. We will meet this ship, witness our 200 tons off-loaded, rent trucks, as last time, and deliver the rice to several outlying cities, including Huichon, where the population, hit by severe floods, is suffering from severe food shortages.
If we are able to borrow 200 tons of rice from the WFP or other organizations beforehand, we will begin our distribution earlier and turn over our own rice back to them when it arrives. In the interim period we will take the train back to Sinuiju to distribute the corn we have ordered in Dandong.
This is our tentative plan but things may work out differently.
From North Korea, I plan to fax a regular, daily if possible, diary report to Tokyo to my friend Mr. Kim Myong Chol and Matthew Rosin who will place it immediately on this Home Page. Watch for these reports and follow us in real time. Pray with us that this small effort may in some measure encourage other donors and large nation-donations. We hope it will raise awareness and cause them to increase their relief work for these starving men, women and children so that a severe catastrophe will this be eliminated. We particularly hope Japan will wake up to the reality of this situation and release just a very small portion of the millions of tons of rice the country continues to hoard in its warehouses and which will never be consumed.
It is not too late to wire your donation to our bank in Tokyo:
Account Name: North Korea Flood Relief
Bank: Sumitomo Ginko
Branch: Hiroo Garden Hills Shiten
Account Number: Futsu Yokin #748849
Bernard Krisher April 5, 1997
Bernard Krisher 4-1-7-605 Hiroo Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (150) Tel: +81-3-3486-4337 Fax: +81-3-3486-6789 Mobile: +81-30-08-88493 (In Tokyo) 030-08-88493 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org MCI MAIL: Bernard Krisher 215-2204
NOTE--I will be in North Korea from April 8 for about two weeks to distribute rice and other emergency supplies. I will not be able to retrieve e-mail. Urgent messages after April 7 should be faxed to me at 81-3-3486-6789 (in Tokyo) and if they require an immediate response will be relayed to me by fax to Pyongyang. You can also fax me directly to Pyongyang after April 11 at the Koryo Hotel, FAX: 850-23-814422. Any e-mail sent in the interim will be retrieved and responded to after my return.