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N.K. says U.N. agencies to provide aid after massive floods

2016/10/05 09:24

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- Two United Nations agencies have decided to provide emergency aid to North Korea after the latest floods that struck the reclusive country's northeastern region, Pyongyang's state media said Wednesday.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and the U.N. International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) decided to offer assistance to North Korea to help in the recovery effort in North Hamgyong Province, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Heavy rains hit North Korea's northeast area at the end of August, leaving more than 130 North Koreans dead and about 400 missing, according to the Red Cross.

It marked the first time that North Korea unveiled the U.N. decision after the recent flooding.

The KCNA reported last week that China has decided to offer free relief goods to the flood-ravaged areas. China is North Korea's ally and economic benefactor.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho had appealed for help during his closed-door meetings with U.N. officials when he visited New York for a General Assembly meeting last month, according to a report by U.S.-based media Radio Free Asia (RFA).

South Korea earlier said that it will not provide aids to North Korea over the flooding amid heightened tensions following Pyongyang's nuclear test in early September.

On Sept. 9, North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test to date, eight months after its fourth. The test was conducted days after heavy rains pummeled the northeastern region.

Seoul condemned North Korea for pouring money into its nuclear program while neglecting the suffering of its people in the flood-hit areas.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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