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S. Korean charity to send aid to N. Korea under tension

2014/03/11 22:51

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean charity announced on Tuesday it will provide aid for children and expectant mothers in impoverished North Korea, under lingering tensions on the peninsula.

ChildFund Korea said it will ship 200 tons worth of wheat flour and bean flour north of the border. It represents South Korea's largest private aid to the North under President Park Geun-hye.

According to ChildFund Korea, North Korea has pledged to share the foodstuffs with about 23,000 children and 29,000 pregnant women.

The South Korean organization added it will send its officials to North Korea in April to see if their aid packages have been distributed properly.

ChildFund Korea had last sent aid to North Korea in October 2012, as tensions have escalated on the Korean Peninsula since that time.

"In North Korea, at least 6.1 million people are dealing with serious starvation," said Lee Je-hoon, the head of the organization. "We hope our aid will help improve their lives and alleviate political and military tensions between the Koreas."

   Last Friday, the Ministry of Unification, which handles inter-Korean affairs in Seoul, said the South wasn't considering providing aid to Pyongyang "either through the government or international organizations."

   Just days earlier, North Korea fired short-range missiles and rockets over the sea off its eastern coast in apparent anger over South Korea-U.S. joint military drills that Pyongyang claims are a rehearsal for an invasion.