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South Korea begins sending 500,000 tons of rice to North
South Korea said it began transporting rice overland to North Korea on Tuesday, the first installment of a total of 500,000 tons it recently agreed to provide its impoverished neighbor.

A hundred trucks carried the first 100,000 tons of the promised aid, it said. Sea shipments were to begin Saturday, with the entire 500,000 tons scheduled to be delivered by the end of December, the South's Unification Ministry said in a statement.

South Korea agreed to the rice shipments during talks earlier this month in Seoul aimed at boosting economic ties after North Korea announced it would end its boycott of international nuclear disarmament talks.

The South also promised to give the North raw materials to help it produce clothes, shoes and soap for its impoverished population. In return, the South will be allowed to invest in North Korean mining operations for zinc, magnesite and coal, the sides said in a joint statement.

The 500,000-ton rice package is the largest since 2000, when leaders of the two Koreas met in a landmark summit that paved the way for reconciliation. The countries remain technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.
MGR Archive 27.7.2005
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Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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