Cash for Helping North Korean Families

My name is Daniel. I was an English teacher in Seoul, South Korea, and am now a writer who has
published three books including South Korea: Our Story by Daniel Nardini.
                       The South Korean government may again allow family reunions between those families
in South Korea and North Korea who had been separated since the end of the Korean War. I have nothing
against these visits, and certainly nothing against bringing those family members who have not seen their
loved ones for years if not decades back together. However, one major problem is that South Korea in fact
“pays” for these reunions, or North Korea would not allow them. There is no question that this is bribery and
holding North Korean families hostage for the purpose of getting money from the South Korean government.
These inter-Korean family visits were stopped when South Korea refused to pay this money in the face of
North Korea testing missile weaponry. The problem is where does the money go? I suspect either into the
pockets of high ranking North Korean officials or into North Korea’s weaponry program. If South Korea is
going to give money to North Korea, it should insist that the money goes for the medical and social benefits
of those North Korean families who have relatives in South Korea. This money should be strictly watched
by a non-North Korean entity such as the United Nations’ agency for refugees or perhaps the Swiss
International Commission for the Red Cross to make sure that this money is going to those North Korean
families who need it. If the South Korean government is going to pay for the reunions, then the money
should be watched carefully so that it goes to help those North Korean families who need it the most.