More aid headed to North after Seoul’s approval

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More aid headed to North after Seoul’s approval

More flood relief will be sent to North Korea after Seoul approved eight shipments of aid from local humanitarian groups.

Ministry of Unification spokesman Chun Hae-sung said yesterday that the South Korean government approved additional aid measures late Tuesday worth 2.24 billion won ($1.8 million).

The aid will include bread, blankets, instant noodles, 400 tons of flour and 203 tons of rice, which will be sent to both Sinuiju and Kaesong. Both regions were hit with floods in recent months, and South Korea’s Red Cross estimates 80,000 to 90,000 victims in Sinuiju alone are in need of aid.

Approval was made a day after the Red Cross announced it was sending 10 billion won worth of aid to Sinuiju, which Chun said is being prepared.

“The fastest date for the additional aid to be sent is tomorrow,” said Chun.

That will be one day ahead of talks between the two Koreas to negotiate the first inter-Korea family reunions held this year.

Chun said the selection process from a database of 80,000 divided family members is already in progress.

Relations between the two Koreas appear to be thawing after months of tension following the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, which Seoul blamed on the North.

By Christine Kim []
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