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'Aid plan for N. Korea will remain in place,’ says Unification Ministry

'Aid plan for N. Korea will remain in place,’ says Unification Ministry

Posted December. 02, 2017 08:09,   

Updated December. 02, 2017 08:22

한국어

The South Korean government announced that it would not reverse its earlier decision to provide humanitarian aid to North Korea via international organizations despite the regime’s recent Hwasong-15 missile launch.

“There is no change in the government’s position on providing humanitarian aid to Pyongyang regardless of the political situation,” the Ministry of Unification said Friday. “Specific procedures are currently being worked out with the international organizations, and the timing of the aid will be decided after reviewing discussion results and current conditions.”

The South Korean government has reportedly informed the United States and Japan of its plan for aid provision early this week right before the North’s test launch in an apparent move to realize this plan by the end of the year. Japan’s Sankei Shimbun reported Friday that Seoul informed Tokyo early this week that it plans to take steps to provide the aid to the North” which a South Korea government official acknowledged as being “unusual,” commenting that giving prior notice to neighboring countries seemed necessary considering the ongoing threats posed by North Korea.

Yet, the latest provocation by the secretive regime seems to have made it impracticable for the South Korean government to execute the aid plan within this year, whose timing may have to be decided considering the international community’s stance including Washington and Tokyo. Katina Adams, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said in a phone call with Voice of America (VOA) Thursday that “Humanitarian aid related questions should be directed to the South Korean government. We urge all countries to take action to impose the maximum amount of diplomatic, economic pressure on the North Korean regime.”



Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com