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Seoul approves 200 mln won aid plan for N. Korea

The unification ministry said Monday it has approved a local aid group's plan to provide 200 million won (US$190,512) worth of agro-materials in humanitarian assistance to North Korea.

Upon the approval, Ace Gyeongam, the foundation run by bed maker Ace, will cross the inter-Korean land border on Tuesday to deliver the agricultural materials, including greenhouse goods, to North Korea's North Hwanghae Province, according to the ministry.

Six officials from the foundation will visit North Korea to supervise the distribution before returning home on Saturday, the ministry said.

South Korea has continued to approve humanitarian assistance to the North in spite of sanctions on the country imposed after its deadly torpedoing of a South Korean Navy ship in 2010.

The sanctions have put almost all inter-Korean economic exchanges on hold, except the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex economic project. Some South Korean businessmen and activists, and Pyongyang, have long called on the South Korean government to withdraw the so-called May 24 sanctions in order to help improve icy relations between the two Koreas.

South and North Korea remain technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)