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S. Korea mulls no immediate food, fertilizer aid to DPRK

English.news.cn   2014-02-17 12:53:54

SEOUL, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's Unification Ministry said Monday that it is mulling no immediate food and fertilizer aid to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in connection with family reunions, though it said the government can consider such aids in accordance with future inter-Korean relations.

Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a routine press briefing that the government is not considering rice and fertilizer aids, which are linked to the family reunion, to the DPRK as reported in some local media.

Kim, however, noted that the government can mull such aids after taking into account the inter-Korean relations going forward.

According to local media reports, the Standing Committee of the National Security Council (NSC) discussed the humanitarian aid to Pyongyang last weekend as the two Koreas confirmed holding the reunion of separated families during the senior-level talks held Friday at the border village of Panmunjeom.

Kim strongly denied such media reports, but said that a humanitarian aid by private civic groups will continue to be pushed ahead regardless of political situations, noting that the government can consider other separate aids.

The ministry said in its annual report that Seoul will provide breed, seed and farm tools for Pyongyang this year to restart cooperation in agricultural and livestock sectors. Such aid will be offered under close consultation with foreign non-governmental organizations.

South Korea's agricultural aid to the DPRK was suspended under the previous Lee Myung-bak administration from 2007 to 2011 amid the worsened inter-Korean relations. From 1999 to 2007, Seoul sent a total of 2,555,000 tons of fertilizer to Pyongyang, together with seeds and pesticides.

Seoul and Pyongyang will hold the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War from Feb. 20 to 25 at the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang.

South Korea dispatched a forward team to the resort last week to prepare for the reunion, including exchanging the final list of participants and adjusting detailed schedules.

Editor: Liu Dan
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