06/06/2019, 12.53
KOREA
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South Korea to send humanitarian aid to North Korea

The South Korean government will provide US$ 8 million to UN agencies. This is the first aid provided to Pyongyang by the Moon government through international agencies. South Korea was divided over sending food to the North. The regime has received assistance from Moscow over the past four months.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The South Korean government has approved a plan to send US$ 8.5 million in humanitarian aid to North Korea through international agencies.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry made the announcement yesterday, a few hours before the Russian embassy in Pyongyang revealed that Moscow has sent about 4,000 tonnes of wheat to North Korea to help the regime cope with the ongoing food emergency, which has been aggravated by drought.

Seoul said that some US$ 4.5 million will be allocated to the World Food Programme (WFP), whilst another US$ 3.5 million would go to the cild health and nutrition programmes of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

This is the first humanitarian assistance by South Korea to the North through international agencies since South Korean President Moon Jae-In took office in 2017.

The Unification Ministry and the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Promotion Council (IKECPC) defined the plan after talks that began on 29 May and ended yesterday.

Within the Council, discussions reflected divisions among South Koreans on the opportunity of sending humanitarian aid to the North.

Meanwhile, 2,895 tonnes of Russian wheat arrived in North Korea on Wednesday, along with 1,100 tonnes delivered a few days earlier.

The Russian embassy in North Korea noted that the delivery took place through the WFP. The food provided will be used to support children and pregnant women.

The embassy said it provided humanitarian aid in February, March and April as well.

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