Seoul renews plan to help North Korea's vulnerable

South Korea confirms U-turn on providing $8 million in aid to North Korea via UN agencies helping children, pregnant women

Seoul renews plan to help North Korea's vulnerable

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korea is to resume financial aid to North Korea despite Pyongyang’s ongoing development of nuclear weapons, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry on Thursday.

The plan is to give $8 million through United Nations agencies supporting children and pregnant women -- representing a South Korean U-turn after Seoul decided to halt aid to its impoverished neighbor after Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

The South has been keen to boost inter-Korean ties since liberal President Moon Jae-in took office in May, but North Korea carried out its sixth nuke test on Sept. 3, drawing a ninth U.N. Security Council resolution since 2006.

Seoul and Washington have been united in calling for pressure on the North through sanctions, although conservatives often see the provision of aid as undermining such punitive measures.

“The global community has shared its view about the need to separate aid from politics,” Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon was quoted as saying by local news agency Yonhap.

“The government will weigh the timing of an aid provision and size after taking into account various factors such as inter-Korean situations,” the ministry added in a statement.

Seoul's aid package would include $4.5 million for the World Food Program, while $3.5 million would go to the United Nations Children's Fund, which earlier in the day reiterated the dire conditions facing minors in North Korea -- with around 200,000 of the reclusive state's children suffering from malnutrition.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Eylül 2017, 12:47