U.N. to provide US$400,000 to N. Korea over FMD: report
SEOUL, April 3 (Yonhap) -- The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) plans to provide US$400,000 to North Korea to help eradicate the rapidly spreading foot-and-mouth disease there, a U.S. radio report said.
The Voice of America (VOA) reported Wednesday the U.N. body was considering a proposal to North Korea over the infectious animal disease that broke out near Pyongyang in early January, citing the FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth.
The FAO also plans to send quarantine officials to North Korea after finalizing its aid program there, the VOA said.
Foot-and-mouth disease is an infectious and sometimes fatal disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, cattle, deer and sheep.
In February, the North's state media reported that the country had culled 2,900 pigs as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the disease and buried about 360 others that had died from the disease.
Last week, the FAO said the foot-and-mouth disease in North Korea has spread fast, infecting four cows near the border with South Korea, according to the VOA.
Still, North Korea remained mum for over a month on South Korea's offer of assistance to contain foot-and-mouth disease.
The North's silence comes amid tensions on the Korean Peninsula over the exchange of fire by the rival Koreas across their disputed western maritime border, as well as Pyongyang's threat of a nuclear test.
Pyongyang has also threatened to carry out a "new form" of nuclear test in anger over a United Nations condemnation of its recent ballistic missile launches. North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013, drawing international condemnation and U.N. sanctions.
South Korea has vowed to continue humanitarian assistance to the North regardless of political tensions.