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    South Korean Unification Ministry spokesperson Kim Hyung-seok reads a statement at a briefing room of Unification Ministry in Seoul, South Korea, Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Seoul Mulls Resuming Humanitarian Aid to Pyongyang Via Int'l Institutions

    © AP Photo / Lee Jin-man
    Asia & Pacific
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    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)

    South Korea may resume its humanitarian assistance to Pyongyang via international organizations as Seoul seeks to encourage civilian inter-Korean exchanges, a spokesman for the Ministry of Unification said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Seoul has suspended aid to its northern neighbor through United Nations agencies after North Korean nuclear and missile tests in 2016, but South Korean President Moon Jae-in told the G20 summit last week that humanitarian aid in the welfare and medical areas should not be linked to political issues.

    "We have halted aid provisions (via international organizations) since North Korea's 2016 nuclear and missile tests, but we are considering the resumption (of aid supply) on the condition of transparency and monitoring," Lee Duk-haeng was quoted as saying by the Yonhap news agency.

    The unification ministry sees the need to consistently provide nutritional support and vaccines to North Korean infants and pregnant women, Lee added.

    According to South Korea's Unification Ministry, the UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program have appealed to the government, asking to resume its support. Seoul has allowed civilian groups to provide aid to North Korea since Moon took office in May, but Pyongyang rejected to receive it due to latest UNSC sanctions against it.

    Tensions between the two countries have risen in recent years amid Pyongyang's nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, conducted in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. The dialogue with North Korea is a part of newly elected president Moon's policy, aimed at reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

    The Relationship Between the Two Koreas (166)


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    humanitarian aid, G20 Summit, Ministry of Unification, G20, UN, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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