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Unification minister to ‘actively consider’ giving aid to N.K.

Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik (left) shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Ban’s residence in New York on Saturday. (Yonhap News)
Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik (left) shakes hands with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during his visit to Ban’s residence in New York on Saturday. (Yonhap News)
NEW YORK (Yonhap News) ― South Korea will “actively consider” providing humanitarian aid to North Korea through United Nations agencies, Seoul’s top policymaker on Pyongyang said here Friday.

Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik visited U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and they discussed the need to help out the impoverished communist regime.

Afterward, Yu said Ban expressed concerns about malnutrition among North Korean infants and children and the secretary-general told him that helping North Korea would be beneficial to all Korean people in the long term.

“I have been considering resuming humanitarian aid to North Korea, such as provision of medicines and medical equipment, through international agencies,” Yu said. “Once I return to Korea, I will actively consider giving aid, starting with medicines and medical equipment and moving on to food for infants and children.”

South Korea halted its aid to North Korea in May last year in response to North Korea’s torpedoing of the South Korean warship Cheonan in the Yellow Sea that killed 46 men aboard. Seoul has since allowed private groups to deliver relief goods north of the border after devastating floods this summer.
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