• S. Korea offers $6.3-million aid to North

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    SEOUL: South Korea announced on Monday a $6.3 million in humanitarian funding for North Korea through the World Health Organization, the second such aid package in just over a month.

    The South’s Unification Ministry said it had also approved aid shipments to the North by a dozen South Korean civic groups worth 2.35 billion won ($2.12 million).

    South Korea cut off government-to-government aid and trade with North Korea in 2010 after a series of incidents including the sinking of a South Korean naval vessel.

    Indirect support also plunged, but has been revived under the “trust-building” policy of President Park Geun-hye who took office in February.

    A $6.0 million dollar payment to the United Nations (UN) children’s agency working in North Korea was announced at the end of July.

    A few weeks ago, the UN appealed for $98 million to finance emergency food, health and sanitation projects being run by the five of its agencies with offices in Pyongyang.

    The UN estimates that nearly 2.4 million North Koreans need regular food assistance and 28 percent of children under five suffer chronic malnutrition.

    After several months of sustained military tensions following North Korea’s third nuclear test in February, Seoul and Pyongyang have recently made progress on addressing a number of suspended cross-border projects.

    AFP

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