North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has sent half a million dollars to aid Korean expatriates in Japan after the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Pyongyang's official news agency said on Thursday.
Decades of tightly controlled economic policy that has seen North Korea channel much of its scarce resources to arms development has left the country acutely short of cash although its leaders continue to live lavishly, according to South Korean news reports. Food is also reportedly scarce.
Japan, formerly Korea's colonial master, is frequently lambasted as a "war monger" in North Korea's state-controlled media along with South Korea and the United States.
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