South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Thursday it will provide the North with humanitarian aid worth $8 million, which is the first such action under the new administration.
“We hope this aid will help improve humanitarian situation among those in need in North Korea by vaccinating children and treating them for malnutrition and improving the nutrition of pregnant women,” the ministry said.
The government will provide $4.5 million through UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) and $3.5 million through the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This decision was made after the unification minister, Cho Myong-gyon, said earlier this week that relief aid to the North was unrelated to sanctions against Pyongyang linked to its nuclear and missile programs.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated in recent months due to Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests. The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on North Korea, which, however, have failed to prevent Pyongyang from conducting new tests.
Recently, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that that the missile tests by the North made any dialogue impossible and threatened Pyongyang with destruction.