Organization helps North Korean food shortage with sweet potatoes

August 12, 2014
Park Hyung-seo explains the project to send sweet potato cultivation to North Korea.

Park Hyung-seo explains the project to send sweet potato cultivation to North Korea.

A North American organization is supporting better children’s nutrition and spreading agricultural techniques to North Korea.

The organization, led by Canadian Korean Park Hyung-seo, is working to teach North Koreans cultivation methods for sweet potatoes. In May and June, Park visited Pyongyang, Pyongan province and Hwanghae province.

While operating an aid project for North Korea in Russia, Park came into cooperation with a North Korean science and technology federation and helped set up sweet potato fields.

“Koreans around the world have helped support starvation in North Korea and its children,” he said. “Sweet potatoes grow well even on barren land. North Korean authorities have accepted sweet potato cultivation, so the Korean society should help out.”

The reason he gave sweet potato cultivation to North Korea was because of its reliable yield, nutrition and long shelf life.

Park taught locals in Pyongan and Hwanghae provinces how to grow the potatoes during his last visit. He said he recently received an email from North Korean authorities saying the potatoes are in good condition — they want to increase introduction of these potatoes in the country.

“Nowadays, Korean society tends to look away from North Korea. But they can’t look away from its people and its children,” Park said. “I hope the Korean American society can support and participate in this movement to send sweet potatoes to North Korea in order to help solve food shortage there.”

The L.A. Church of Peace and Action for One Korea have stepped up as cooperating organizations for the movement in Southern California, he said.

For more information, call 213-568-9276.

One Comment

  1. Byeong Choon Jeong

    March 8, 2015 at 3:10 PM

    Thank you very much for your working to teach North Koreans cultivation methods of sweet potatoes. I was a sweet potato researcher from 1979 to 2004 in Mokpo Experiment Station, NICS, RDA. After retired I have been working for adviser of Korean Sweetpotato
    Association. If I have a chance to help North Korea about sweetpotato, I would like to help you. Thank you. Byeong Choon Jeong