Pro-Pyongyang schools lose subsidy after nuke test

Kyodo

Pro-Pyongyang Korean schools in Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures will not receive a local subsidy for fiscal 2013 in light of North Korea’s nuclear test Tuesday, the governors of the two prefectures said.

“It would be difficult to obtain our residents’ understanding over the continuance of the aid to pro-Pyongyang Korean schools, which are under the strong influence of North Korea,” Kanagawa Gov. Yuji Kuroiwa told a news conference Wednesday, explaining the move to scrap aid for five schools in his prefecture.

Kanagawa has been offering a subsidy to these schools since fiscal 1977 and Wednesday’s decision marks the first time the prefecture will forgo such aid.

North Korea conducted its third nuclear test over the objections of the international community.

Calling the nuclear test a “reckless deed that ignores world opinion,” Kuroiwa announced some ¥63 million in aid for the five pro-Pyongyang schools will not be earmarked in the initial draft budget for fiscal 2013.

Before the nuclear test, the prefecture planned to provide aid as usual.

An official of a pro-Pyongyang Korean high school in Yokohama voiced frustration over the decision, saying the issue of nuclear test is unrelated to the school.

Saitama Gov. Kiyoshi Ueda said his prefecture had decided to forego providing a subsidy to a pro-Pyongyang Korean school in the city of Saitama.

“We’ve run out of patience,” Ueda said at a separate press conference. “It is unthinkable to give aid using taxpayers’ money.”

Saitama began providing a subsidy in fiscal 1982. Although it has allocated ¥9 million annually since fiscal 2010, the prefecture has now frozen the budget, saying it could not verify if the aid was being properly used.