Ministry of Unification (Yonhap)
South Korea's unification ministry on Friday vowed to continue efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to North Korea after the United States imposed new sanctions over the reclusive regime's recent missile launches.
On Wednesday, the Biden administration slapped sanctions on six North Koreans, a Russian national and a Russian company involved in Pyongyang's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs.
Asked to comment on the move, Cha Duck-chul, deputy spokesman for the unification ministry, said South Korea maintains inter-Korean humanitarian cooperation should continue "regardless of the political or military situation."
"It is a widely shared understanding in the international community, including the US and the United Nations, that sanctions should not impede humanitarian cooperation for North Korean citizens," Cha told a regular press briefing. "The government will continue efforts to find a reasonable and feasible way of implementing sanctions in the humanitarian aid sector."
The new US sanctions came shortly after the North launched what it claims to be a newly developed hypersonic missile Tuesday, the second such test in less than a week.
Earlier on Friday, North Korea's foreign ministry issued a statement and warned it will have to take "stronger and certain reaction" if Washington continues to take such a "confrontational stance" against the North. (Yonhap)